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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .

Page.. 3377..

I will also say that the other key priority areas for government, which attract vast amounts of money, and deservedly so, go to the education directorate, go to child protection and go to health. They are the areas that we have prioritised time and time again, and they continue to receive the vast majority of the ACT community's money that is collected in order to deliver high quality services.

That will never change. Yes, we are going to spend more money on public transport—good quality public transport. But at the same time we will continue to provide the best healthcare system and the best education system, and we will look after those children that require extra support across this city. That is exactly what we have done, and it is what we will continue to do. It is what we said we would do in the 2012 election. (Time expired.)


MS BERRY: My question is to the minister for tourism. Minister, could you please advise the Assembly on the performance of this year's Floriade?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Berry for the question. I am pleased to be able to advise that Floriade 2014 was a huge success. The 30-day festival attracted 481,854 visits—many people, of course, attending on multiple occasions over the 30 days. I am advised this is the biggest crowd for the event since the introduction of turnstiles in 1999. It represents a near 7½ per cent increase on last year's attendance, with nearly 10,000 more visits than the previous highest attendance of 471,979 in 2010. The excellent weather during the month certainly contributed to those attendance figures, but we are very pleased with the quality of the program and the support of sponsors and charity partners.

I would like to highlight a couple of elements of Floriade 2014 that were very successful. Floriade's first-ever dogs day out raised more than $4,000 for the RSPCA. Also, Floriade's other charity partner, the Independent Property Group Foundation, through the "my cubby house rocks" project, were able to raise more than $45,000 for two very worthy causes—boundless Canberra, which the Chief Minister mentioned earlier, and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.

There will be an evaluation of Floriade and Floriade NightFest undertaken by Repucom. The final results will be made public. Just to give members a sense of the ballpark, though, the expectation, given last year's event contributed just under $40 million in direct expenditure into the territory economy, is that we are anticipating similar-level figures for 2014.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, how is the ACT government continuing to deliver such outstanding growth in attendance?

MR BARR: One of the key features is that the event remains free. The only time that Floriade attendance has taken a significant dive in its history was when the Liberal

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