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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 3 May 2007) . . Page.. 937 ..

major iconic tourist attractions as an attractor to the Australian Capital Territory. I believe it has the potential. If one has visited another arboretum or another significant international gardens, one would not dispute this. It has the potential to compete with the Australian War Memorial, the national museum or the gallery as a significant attractor of tourists and people to the Australian Capital Territory.

One has to have the capacity to imagine the future or the possibility of the arboretum. If you do not have that capacity to see a vision or to imagine a future—or indeed to perhaps invent a future—then you will not understand what I am trying to say.

In the context of what I know of arboreta around the world and of major international gardens—and indeed major gardens in Australia—I am adamant and convinced that the planning and vision reflected in the plans developed for the arboretum, if ever achieved, will ensure, guarantee, that the arboretum will, in that event, be as successful in supporting tourism and visitation to the territory as any of the other major attractors.

It is important—in the context of the development of tourism and of the Australian Capital Territory as a tourism destination—that we continue to invest in what might rightly be regarded as tourism infrastructure. The glassworks is a good example. At the moment, we are almost at the end point of a major almost $14 million investment in a restoration of the Powerhouse to develop—as a major piece of tourism infrastructure—the glassworks.

Mr Smyth: It was a good initiative in our last budget, wasn’t it? Good omission. The money was there.

MR STANHOPE: The old “gunna” government—“Oh, our initiative.” You would never have funded it—just as you never funded the library; just as you never funded anything. The glassworks is a fantastic initiative of this government. It is a major piece of tourism infrastructure that we have developed and that we, in three weeks time, will willingly present to the people of the ACT as a major investment in the arts. It is the most significant investment in the arts since self-government. It is a major investment in tourism infrastructure.

In relation to the arboretum, members would be interested that at a breakfast that I attended this week, I had a conversation with a number of senior members of the Tourism Industry Council in the ACT—Alan Williams and David Marshall—and representatives of the Australian Hotels Association and of the convention bureau, all of whom have agreed to meet me in the next couple of weeks to discuss investment in tourism infrastructure, and specifically the arboretum.

This is another interesting example—we saw it earlier today in relation to the busway—of an opposition with no capacity to think to the future; to exhibit any vision or any commitment to this community. These are major projects—the glassworks, the busway, the arboretum—for the future, and I am proud of them.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Why, seeing that this is now an if and desperately on the never-never, have you already committed this

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