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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4060 ..

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, given the popularity of mountain biking, what is the government doing to support mountain biking in locations other than Stromlo Forest Park, particularly given the threats posed by things like the proposed Majura Parkway expansion?

MR BARR: The government is supporting mountain biking in a variety of forms. The most important one, of course, is having a world-class facility at Stromlo Forest Park. The particular area that Ms Le Couteur refers to is obviously subject to further planning consideration as part of the eastern broadacre planning study and also the consideration around the Majura Parkway.

Of course, as in all things—I find that this is a common response to Ms Le Couteur’s questions—there are tradeoffs and there are things that you must balance. The needs of mountain bikers are, of course, important and they are appropriately reflected in a world-class facility at Stromlo Forest Park.

But equally, commuters have needs and their capacity to have an enhanced transport corridor through the Majura Valley is also important. In the context of balancing those two issues, I think appropriate recognition must be given to the significant public investment of funds in Stromlo Forest Park. That investment is testimony to this government’s commitment to mountain biking in the territory.

MS PORTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, given the success of these events, has the money expended given any other return on investment?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter. These questions are ones that I always find interesting and in fact I entered into a media debate with Mr Smyth over the returns. Unfortunately, Ms Porter, the majority of taxation revenue generated by the economic activity that these events generate goes back to the commonwealth. GST revenue is, of course, derived from that extra economic activity. But that particular revenue was allocated not where the economic activity occurs but to the states and territories based on their proportion of the country’s population. A popular but unfortunately misleading view is put out by some—I think Mr Seselja was guilty of this at one point, but Mr Smyth corrected him—that GST revenue is not applied where the economic activity is generated.

However, there are some other spin-offs, most particularly if we are able to charge for parking, where the extra activity generated by tourism events such as Floriade will generate extra revenue for the territory government. And of course, in seeking to get a full return for the ACT government from our significant investments, being able to get some revenue back to the territory government is indeed important and it is a factor that we must consider as we approach investment in major events.

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