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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3539..


Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I am happy to hear a reiteration of my history, but you just ruled that he could speak about the broader economic policies of the government. Under 118 (b) it would appear that he is the debating the subject and should be brought to order.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Treasurer, I think you should confine yourself to the subject matter of the question and not debate the issue.

MR QUINLAN: Context, Mr Speaker, context. The government has moved to bring about a more cohesive relationship with the tourism industry. It has moved to change the old CTECH. It is now Australian Capital Tourism. It now has programs that are starting to have effect and is getting a very positive response around town. Sure, if we announced that we would throw a whole lot of money at the tourism industry, they would be very pleased. However, I have worked very hard over a couple of years in this area to ensure that we take the industry with us, that we do not just become the agency to provide free promotion and that we all work together.

The tourism industry, although hard to draw a line around, incorporates the major attractions, the minor attractions, some retail areas and a whole raft of people who we want to see work together in a co-ordinated effort. That is happening. The latest promotion, Spring into Canberra, was launched a few weeks ago with a tremendous amount of support across the spectrum of business and the tourism industry.

We can say now that the work that has been done by the government is starting to bear genuine fruit. It was a case of taking hold of the particular problems that faced us, sorting them out, changing the place, getting on with the job and working smart. I do trust that this Assembly would want the government to continue to work smart and not just throw money into the pot, as was done in the past, to no great effect.

Electricity charges

MR CORNWELL: My question is to Mr Quinlan. I refer to an article by Mr Dyer of the Association of Independent Retirees, which was published in the Canberra Times supplement today. Mr Dyer claims that Actew had advised several members of his organisation that a concession on electricity charges existed for holders of the Commonwealth seniors health card.

Mr Dyer spoke to Actew to confirm this advice and "was given to understand that a concession was available". As a consequence of this advice, he published the information in the Canberra Times in August. Actew then stated that no such concession was available, and Mr Dyer had to apologise for providing the incorrect advice.

Mr Quinlan, why did Actew provide this advice to self-funded retirees about their entitlements to electricity concessions, and would Actew please clarify again just who is entitled to such concessions?

MR QUINLAN: If Actew provided incorrect advice, I can only think of two reasons for it: they are a pack of so-and-sos or they have made a blue. It is highly probably that the latter is the case. As best I recall, concessions are provided on a needs basis and not a


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