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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (28 October) . .

Page.. 3672..

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, why is it important for the government to attract these events to Canberra?

MR BARR: They bring a range of economic, social and cultural benefits to the city. Whether it is a sporting event or a cultural festival or, indeed, a business event, this brings people to the city, provides attractions for residents. A great advantage, obviously for government investment in events, is that Canberra taxpayer dollars bring people to the city but also allow Canberrans to enjoy the benefits of having these major events. The bulk, obviously, of attendees at these events will be local residents. So they will see some benefit from their local government's investment.

The problem, of course, when we are spending great amounts of ACT taxpayers' money advertising interstate or overseas is, of course, that that economic benefit is flowing into those particular communities or into businesses in those particular areas, and it is only offset by the capacity to attract tourists to the city. Events provide a very useful way to not only generate economic activity for the city and provide a reason for tourists to visit but they do provide a significant return in terms of a social and cultural benefit for local residents. And that is why I think there is very strong local community support—and this is seen through all of the surveys that we undertake in relation to major events—for major events and for this city's capacity to deliver them.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how will these events help to promote the ACT as a tourism destination?

MR BARR: Through VisitCanberra the ACT government will invest in a marketing campaign to support these events, particularly in our key regional markets in New South Wales and Sydney. This will support the efforts of the organising bodies. Both the Asian Cup and the Cricket World Cup have local organising committees and resources available to promote the tournaments more broadly nationally and internationally.

Our campaign will use online press, radio and social media activities and will include the targeting of multicultural media in Sydney, particularly to raise awareness about the Asian Cup amongst the Chinese and Korean communities. A strong events calendar provides a much-needed boost to our city in the traditionally quieter summer months.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what work has been undertaken at our venues where these events will be held to enhance the experience of players, spectators and visitors in Canberra?

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