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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 22 November 2007) . . Page.. 3738 ..


running track and a range of mountain bike tracks. Stromlo Forest Park is the first of its type in Australia—possibly in the world. It has the capacity to host a range of major national and international events. We look forward to being able to host the world mountain bike and trials championships as well as the mountain bike world cup and a range of other major events at Stromlo Forest Park.

Looking ahead to 2008, in the world of sport we will see an influx of cricket-mad Indians and Sri Lankans for Canberra’s biggest ever summer of international cricket. The 2008 AFL draw sees Manuka Oval hosting four matches involving the Sydney Swans, the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons, amongst others, in February, March, June and August next year. We are also hosting a Rugby League World Cup team in October. We will be seeing France and Scotland go head to head at Canberra Stadium. In November, we will see the Pacific School Games come to Canberra. I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that, with the addition of basketball to the program, this means that an additional 600 athletes are coming to Canberra, taking the total for the week-long event to 4,100 athletes and more than 600 teachers and officials as well as thousands of families and spectators.

Even with these significant events, it is important that we maintain a vibrant and responsive approach to the changing needs of tourists. That is why the government is investing $400,000 in upgrading the visitcanberra.com.au website. That site attracted more than 850,000 visits last year, up 26 per cent.

We are also investing $320,000 in a package to enhance cooperative marketing activity with the airlines. I would like to particularly put on the record our welcoming of the additional flights that Qantas is putting on to the city; Virgin Blue back on the Canberra-Sydney route; and the addition of Tiger Airways flying into the ACT—all great news for our tourism industry.

We need to continue to build on this. We need to diversify our events calendar. That is why the government is investing $225,000 in the development of a five-year event attraction strategy.

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

Personal explanation

MR PRATT (Brindabella): Mr Speaker, I want to make a clarifying explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Have you been misrepresented, Mr Pratt?

MR PRATT: Very clearly so, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Please proceed.

MR PRATT: I refer to the Chief Minister’s comments in question time today, firstly in relation to the statement made about the family and community day holiday. For the record, my car was in the car park that day.


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