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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3225..

MR BARR: That was on the back of a national decline over the past 12 months, Mr Smyth, of about 0.3 per cent. In fact, as I have alluded to previously in this place, the long-run experience for domestic tourism, over the last 20 years, has been flat. The ACT's performance for the last 12 months, building on the work that was done in the previous 12 months, has been a tremendous result. In fact, Victoria and Western Australia were the only other states or territories to record an increase in domestic overnight visitors. The ACT is leading the nation.

This data also indicates that Sydney and regional New South Wales remain our largest source markets, representing 62.5 per cent of the total domestic overnight visitors to the ACT for the year ending June 2006. It is pleasing to note that, despite increasing fuel prices for the drive market, visitation from Sydney and regional New South Wales remains strong as visitors realise the strength of the tourism product in the ACT.

I take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to all of the staff of Australian Capital Tourism for their hard work and to the ACT tourism industry. I know that those opposite have been talking down the industry consistently for quite some time. On behalf of all my government colleagues, I would like to extend the government's strong support for Australian Capital Tourism and for the industry. I would also like to thank the many sponsors and volunteers who participated in the Floriade festival. It is clear that results such as we have achieved with Floriade show that when government, industry and community work together effectively excellent results can be achieved.

I certainly hope that next year's Floriade, which will have an Aussie icons theme, will be just as successful as the one in 2006 and that industry, local business and the community will continue to support the event in such a positive way. In closing, I think it is fantastic that events such as Floriade are helping the ACT lead the nation in visitation.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mrs Dunne ) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to Mrs Burke for 18 and 19 October 2006.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Emergency services-front-line vehicles

MR CORBELL: Yesterday I took a question on notice from Mr Stefaniak. He asked me about a range of vehicles that are unavailable. I have answered most of that in my answer to a question earlier today. But just for the record and for the sake of completeness, I will respond to Mr Stefaniak.

He asked me why two-thirds of volunteer bushfire trucks in the northern ACT-namely, Molonglo 10, Molonglo 11 and Gungahlin 10-were unserviceable and why they have been in repairs for a long period of time, eight weeks. First of all, I advise Mr Stefaniak that Molonglo 11 is not affected in this regard; it was Parks 11. I correct the record there.

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