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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (30 October) . .

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partners. Tomorrow Minister Corbell will release the capital metro business case to the market. This continues the commitment from the government to being open and transparent in the delivery of this major transformative project. We will also be considering PPPs for other projects, including elements of the city to the lake project, including pieces of infrastructure that have been the subject of some interest in the Assembly this week. Not only do we have a vision for and commitment to major infrastructure, but we have an effective policy framework through which to deliver it. It is certainly in stark contrast to those opposite, who have put forward no policy framework for the procurement of major infrastructure projects.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall

MR WALL: Minister, why were consortia being overlooked when shortlisting tenderers for PPP projects such as the law courts project?

MR BARR: They are not, and the process is competitive. The best bids in the expression of interest phase go forward to the request for proposal phase. If Mr Wall is suggesting that bids that were not as good as some of the others that came in should be included in a request for proposal phase just because they are local, that is really an invitation to consortia whose bid was not of the highest quality compared with the others to be wasting money.

There are costs associated with preparing a bid. If you are not shortlisted in the EOI phase, then you are simply seeking an invitation to spend money when you have already been assessed as not being of the standard of the other bids. All bids are of a high standard but some are higher than others.

Tourism—visitor numbers

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Tourism and Events. Minister, in addition to CommSec's state of the states report, which showed we have the second worst economy in the nation, the State of the Industry 2014 report by Tourism Research Australia for 2013-14 noted that tourism levels in the ACT had decreased despite the efforts of the centenary year to attract visitors to the ACT. Minister, what was the reason for the 11.4 per cent decrease in visitor expenditure for the ACT?

MR BARR: On the first point I completely reject Ms Lawder's assessment that the ACT is the second worst economy in the country, and my point to her would be to stop talking down the ACT. Ms Lawder would do well to not talk down our economy.

Secondly, in relation to tourism figures, 2013 was the best performing year in tourism for this city since the Sydney Olympics. So since our country staged the biggest event in the world—

Mr Hanson: Since the Liberal government. Hear, hear!

MR BARR: It was actually a Labor government that brought the Olympics to Australia—Bob Carr's government. But never let—

Mr Coe: But we're talking about 2000.

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