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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2606..


Bill agreed to.

Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 19 June 2003, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH

(Leader of the Opposition) (5.18): This bill is to change the name of the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation. This is something the government announced they would be looking at in their review of CTEC. The Australian Capital Tourism Corporation, as it will become known, has some advantages, I would suggest. In his speech, the minister made the point that the capital is a big part of the Australian capital region and I do not think anybody would doubt that.

I have some small concerns. The removal of the events is not an indication that we will totally abandon all events. We need to be focusing on a blend of local tourism, national tourism and event tourism.

I note the passing of the Queen's Birthday weekend with the lowest occupancy rates the territory has experienced for some time, because of the government's inability to come up with an idea to replace the V8 car race. That is a shame, because the V8 car race achieved the breaking down of the stereotyping which had surrounded Canberra for a long time.

I hope the change of name is not a dramatic change of attitude and that, in dispensing with the tourism and events corporation, we are not also dispensing with the idea of having events in the ACT. Floriade will continue, I have no doubt, but we need to find events placed strategically throughout the year to try to help the hospitality sector through some of the quieter times of the year.

The other major point of the bill is to have a larger board. The board will have two additional members. If that puts more appropriate expertise on the board, I do not believe you can argue with that.

I would like to congratulate the existing and previous board members on the job they have done. They oversaw a period of good growth of tourism in the ACT. They certainly changed it and they definitely changed people's attitudes towards tourism in the ACT. That is important as well. There is a big job to be done. The additional board members will hopefully bring with them a different slant and different expertise on how we might improve tourism in the ACT.

Mr Deputy Speaker, these sorts of changes do not come without cost. I wonder whether, when the Minister for Tourism closes debate on this issue, he could give us an indication of what the cost of the change will be, and whether the existing logo, which is reasonably well known-certainly locally-will change.

I notice that, on their website, they have dropped the words "tourism and events corporation", and there is now a sunny sort of Parliament House logo, with the word


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