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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 2 Hansard (19 February) . .

Page.. 617..


DR BOURKE: Minister, what will be the benefits of these changes?

MR GENTLEMAN: They allow the supermarkets to operate in a more convivial manner—I think that is the best way of explaining it—to ensure that there is a reasonable level of competition between supermarkets across the territory.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, does the approved variation include a cap of 1,000 square metres gross floor area?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Smyth for his question. That is the current level, Mr Smyth.

Tourism—events

MS FITZHARRIS: My question is to the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism and Events. Chief Minister, can you update the Assembly on Canberra's recent program of major events?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Fitzharris for the question. It has been a fantastic major events calendar for the city in the past six months. We have taken our place on the global sporting and festival stage. Going back to spring of 2014, Australia's premier springtime festival, Floriade, was an outstanding success. It recorded its largest ever attendance figure and a record of $37 million in direct visitor expenditure. The final attendance figure was just short of 482,000, a seven per cent increase on the previous year, and included around 103,500 interstate and international visitors who came to Canberra specifically for Floriade. Over five nights, Floriade NightFest attracted 34,500 people, its second highest attendance since its inception.

Mr Coe: It seems to always rain.

MR BARR: It does, of course, on occasion suffer from rain, yes.

Our bumper season of cricket fixtures at Manuka Oval kicked off in November with Australia taking on South Africa in a one-day international match that attracted just short of 11,00 people. As I understand it, that was a crowd pretty much equal to what was attracted in Melbourne and larger than at least one of the crowds in Perth in that same series. It certainly showed our city's appetite for international cricket.

The PM's XI game against England on 14 January attracted a crowd of a little over 8,000, a strong crowd for that match. Of course, there was a sell-out crowd of nearly 12,000 for the KFC T20 Big Bash final on 28 January. That proved to be one of the most exciting matches of the season, coming down to the final ball.

Bumper crowds look set to continue for our three Cricket World Cup matches. Last night around 11,000 fans packed into Manuka, creating a magnificent atmosphere courtesy of some of the most exuberant cricket fans I have ever seen in the Bangladeshi and Afghan supporters.


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