Page 2936 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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office, with senior members of that government. There has been no commitment for a national convention centre that is commonwealth government funded from either government at this point in time.

MS CASTLEY: Chief Minister, when will Canberra get a new convention centre?

MR BARR: Of course, the question is what we would build. Ms Castley may not be across all of the history of this particular infrastructure proposal, but in essence there are two choices. One is a national level facility that is bigger than this economy could possibly ever utilise that would be federally funded and used by the Australian government for major national and international events. That is one model. The other is an enhanced Canberra convention centre that would meet the needs of a city of around half a million people. The two are very different in scale and obviously in cost.

There are ways to deliver increased exhibition space, banqueting space and event space in the ACT without going to a national level facility. So, in the absence of a commitment from the federal government towards a national facility, a territory level facility is the government’s preferred pathway at this point in time.

Chief Minister—conduct in response to petitions 23-22, 24-22 and 25-22

MR HANSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday, a number of parents of children who have died on Canberra roads and as victims of crime were present in the chamber for the presentation of petitions and debate on a motion. Your failure to acknowledge them and their trauma in any way has deeply upset them. One parent said, “Every one of us present felt insulted and diminished.” Chief Minister, why did you choose to ignore the parents while every other member who spoke expressed their sympathy?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. I made a mistake yesterday in not explicitly acknowledging the presence in the chamber—for Mr Hanson’s petition and a no confidence motion in the Attorney-General—of those families. I unreservedly apologise for not acknowledging them explicitly, and I will seek to learn from that mistake.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

Mr Hanson: No. I will just thank the Chief Minister for those comments. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Lee?

MS LEE: Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. Chief Minister, will you meet with the families, as you have indicated that you wish to work with the community to progress what they are advocating for so fiercely?

MR BARR: I understand the families have stated publicly that they do not wish to meet with me. I understand and respect that position. I acknowledge that not explicitly referencing them yesterday would not have enhanced their desire to meet with me.

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