Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4756 ..
There are some fears in the community about what the report may mean in terms of funding. Some groups have raised with me concerns that it may see the diversion of tourism dollars or dollars that are currently being spent on actual events into the bureaucracy. It is something that I will certainly monitor closely because we know the minister, Mr Barr, during estimates on 26 May this year, when we were asking him about this, said, “There will be no further funding for events in this term of government.”
We have a review that says, “Develop a calendar of events”—some are for spring and autumn in particular—“and look at something for summer and winter.” But, according to Mr Barr’s statement, it will be done within existing resources. The plan proposes an additional three committees. It sounds a bit bureaucratic to me. I am sure the point should be that we need to be working towards the outcomes that we desire and then set up a structure to meet those outcomes, rather than say, “Let us set up some bureaucracies that will give us an outcome.” It is cart-before-the-horse stuff.
What do we want to achieve? How far do we want to take this? What is the potential? How do we realise that? How do we get the dividend from that? How does the community get the benefit from it? How does the industry grow under it? We should not say, “Let us set up another three committees.”
I think we all agree it should be streamlined. Mr Barr and I might even agree on that some day. But to say we are going to streamline it and then put what could be potentially three speed humps in front of the streamlining process seems a bit odd to me. And it will be interesting to see, when the government give us their plan in February, how they address that.
This is an opportunity to get the industry well and truly involved. I have the minutes from the meeting in 2005 where the industry sat around and said: “What do we want? Here are the attractions. Here are the events. Here is the training. Here is the infrastructure.” If the minister has not got the minutes of that meeting, I can get them to him. Most of this is still relevant today because most of it has not been done.
Mr Barr: They are hopelessly out of date.
MR SMYTH: “They are hopelessly out of date,” says the minister. There you go. We are just going to write it off. Without even reading it, you just write it off. The top two recommendations, Minister Barr, are for an Indigenous gallery and an Indigenous museum of some description. “Hopelessly out of date”! We just opened one but it is hopelessly out of date. That is probably why.
The only negative person here today has been Mr Barr, in many ways. Even Ms Gallagher could not rise to it. She said, “Mr Smyth said a few negative things.” But she could not point to a single word that I had said. But there is Mr Barr, as always. It has been a constructive debate, apart from Mr Barr. It is about moving towards something very special, and that is the future of the ACT tourism industry.
But there are funds. There are the dollars. In particular, there is a reference: