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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1263..


MS PORTER (continuing):

promoter, some months ago for assistance in her attempts to bring Cirque here I was happy to do so as I saw huge benefits in promoting Canberra as a tourist destination, obvious benefits to the people and economy of Canberra and the region, by bringing visitors from across Australia and across the sea to experience Cirque.

As a member of a panel this afternoon, I answered questions in relation to that. I was asked why I thought that it may be of benefit to young people in Canberra. I said that I realised a number of young people were already involved in similar kinds of circuses in Canberra, such as the Warehouse Circus, and these young people would be given added encouragement by being able to go along and witness Cirque for themselves. In fact, Cirque seeks out potential for its circus round the world and provides encouragement to young people, particularly young people at risk, to try the experience of a circus.

I was interested to discover that Cirque was created in the early 1980s by a group of buskers getting together with a vision for a different kind of circus and putting this vision before the city of Quebec. They succeeded in that and the rest is history, as the saying goes. Since then it has gone ahead to perform in permanent and touring venues across the world to great acclaim and it will increase the number of major international venues next year by three, Canberra being one and the others being Seoul and Shanghai.

I am proud to have been part of bringing this major event here, as it has previously been to other cities but never in the ACT. Both Australian Capital Tourism and the National Capital Authority have got behind this initiative, the latter by providing a venue on the lakeshore in front of Questacon and beside the National Library. The event that we will all have a chance to witness in 2007 when Cirque is here is called Varekai, which means "wherever"in the Romany language. It is a creation of Dominic Champagne and a fantastic journey of sound, light, colour, movement and myth.

The big top will seat 2,600 people and Cirque will run frequently from Tuesday through to Sunday, day and evening. Therefore, there will be plenty of opportunities for Canberrans and visitors to Canberra to enjoy this wonderful spectacle. Tickets will go on sale on 8 May this year.

Environment—renewable energy

Greens—votes

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.07): It is interesting that Ms Porter is so happy about Cirque de Soleil coming to Canberra when our home grown Warehouse Circus is fearing losing its premises at Rivett school, but there you go.

I have a couple of things to talk about today. First of all, I want to follow up on one of the things that the Greens do talk about, that is, promoting renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I read today with interest that Senator Ian Campbell, who is the federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, has announced that he is going to lead Australia's largest ever renewable energy and energy efficiency trade mission to China in October. He said that he has noticed that China presents a huge potential market for Australian renewable energy products and expertise and the time is right for Australian renewable energy businesses to explore and engage with this major market opportunity.


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