Page 593 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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MS VASSAROTTI: I thank Mr Davis for the question. Yes, you are correct that at lunchtime I launched the Heritage Festival, with the theme of “Curiosity”, which is really exciting. While it does not have the big headlines of some of the other festivals, such as Enlighten, this is a really important festival that runs over three weeks and attracts a wide range of people. We have over 150 diverse and interactive activities.

In relation to the opportunities for tourism, there are some significant benefits. We are quite excited this year that, for the first time, we have a hotel partner. The Mercure Canberra is our hotel partner. It is a beautiful heritage hotel and it is a perfect example. We are hoping that, through the ability to provide packages, it will create some significant tourism into Canberra.

We know that heritage is a real opportunity to attract the tourism dollar. The cultural and heritage research that was collected by Tourism Australia in 2018 found that a rich history and heritage was the fourth most important factor for the domestic market when choosing a holiday destination. It was the sixth most important in relation to international markets. We believe that significant benefits will come from this probably not as well known but really important festival in our local festival program.

MR DAVIS: Minister, what events have been planned specifically in Tuggeranong?

MS VASSAROTTI: I knew that there would be some interest in the kinds of events that are happening in different areas of the ACT. Of the 150 events that we have running, there are 32 diverse events in Brindabella, spanning the suburbs of Tuggeranong and into Tharwa, Namadgi and Tidbinbilla. We have things such as a walk back in time for the old Tuggeranong railway; a glimpse into Kambah’s past, through a heritage walk; the Milky Way photography workshop that is happening out at Namadgi; looking at how you can build a beneficial bee and insect hotel at Lanyon Homestead; the bush tucker harvest day out at Tharwa; and heritage on wheels, where you can take your mountain bike out to Tidbinbilla. There is a really wide range and something for everyone. I am hoping that members from Brindabella and across the whole city get out to some of the events.

DR PATERSON: Minister, could you outline the heritage events that will be happening in Murrumbidgee?

MS VASSAROTTI: I thank the member for her question. I do not actually have that information with me.

Dr Paterson: Take it on notice.

MS VASSAROTTI: I thought about the sorts of questions that I might get asked. There are a significant number of events in Murrumbidgee and across the region. I will ensure that every single member gets a program for the festival, which will start in a couple of weeks. I hope that we will see everyone at different events. There are some really interesting events and you will learn something about a part of your city that you think you know. It is a great range of events and there is something for everyone.

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