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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 873 ..

Indeed, the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition and the autumn event are only small parts of the ACT’s tourism efforts. Through this period, Canberrans and visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy Flip-Art, the balloon spectacular, symphony in the park, celebrate in the park—all part of the expanded Canberra Festival. I am happy to report that autumn in Canberra is an embarrassment of riches for all interstate visitors and, indeed, for all Canberrans.

I put in a plug now for something coming up at Easter—the National Folk Festival, an Australian tourism award winning event.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary question, please, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what is the relationship between this event and the long-proposed but still unsighted new autumn event?

MR BARR: This year marks the first year of the new autumn event. The theme is special night time openings, a partnership with our national institutions. This year it commenced with the National Gallery of Australia. And next year—we have already gone out to the national institutions. I met with all of the heads of the institutions at a luncheon, hosted by Therese Rein at the Lodge only a matter of weeks ago, to outline the government’s proposal for the autumn event for 2011. And I am pleased to advise that with the distribution of expressions of interest we have already had five national institutions confirm their interest in partnering for the autumn event for 2011. The further details in relation to those institutions and the event will of course be announced in due course.

But, again, wouldn’t it be terrific if there was a degree of bipartisanship in relation to this and we heard something more than the carping and whingeing that you get from the shadow minister for tourism, who has had nothing positive to contribute to the tourism debate in this territory for some years now. The industry knows it; the people of Canberra know it.

This government will get on with delivering on our election commitments and delivering the new autumn event. It started this year. There were sell-outs for each of the nights it ran. It was sold out for each of the nights it ran this year, and we look forward to the event growing in the years ahead. As I said at the start, Floriade started very small. Our goal is that the new autumn event will, over the next 20 years, rival Floriade and again promote autumn as a fantastic time to visit the national capital.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, could you please detail how an event run at the National Gallery by the National Gallery is the new autumn event for the ACT?

MR BARR: I said that this year’s event, Starry Nights, which was developed in partnership between the gallery and Australian Capital Tourism, with funding provided by the ACT government, represented the start of the autumn events. The

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