Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 20 October 2011) . . Page.. 4737 ..

economy more broadly. The government has a seasonal approach to tourism events—that is, we will focus around the four distinct seasons that our city offers. Floriade obviously anchors the spring celebrations. The Enlighten and Canberra festivals are the major feature of the autumn season. The wrapt in winter campaigns—the fireside festival, for example—are in the winter period, and I am very pleased that we have again been able to reach a partnership with the National Gallery of Australia around a summer blockbuster major art exhibition this year, the Renaissance exhibition, building on the strength of the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition that set an Australian record for attendance at a major cultural event.

It is important that we continue to have a focus on each of the seasons, recognising those distinct features of Canberra’s climate that can, in fact, be turned into a positive in selling our city to fellow Australians and, indeed, to international visitors. We will continue that approach.

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, a supplementary.

DR BOURKE: Is the minister aware of any other views on this event?

MR BARR: There are, of course, always a variety of views in relation to Floriade. Some have suggested that what is required is a significant entry fee in order to, in some way, further boost the event. That would clearly go to exclude a large number of Canberra families from regularly participating in Floriade. This has been tried before.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: I note, from those opposite, that the attempts at charging fees for Floriade were, indeed, a dismal failure, resulting in a significant community backlash. No, the government certainly does not intend to pursue that particular idea.

It has also been suggested that we move away from the current theming of the event, of having a different theme each year. I think it is important that we continue to evolve the event, that we add new additions. Floriade NightFest, for example, has been a very warmly received addition to the program, something that targets a different demographic and has, again, been very strongly supported both by Canberra locals and visitors alike. We look forward to continuing to evolve the event but maintain its core focus.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, has the government considered having a gold coin donation for the entry to Floriade?

MR BARR: Yes, we have considered that and rejected it. The amount of money it would raise versus the compliance, collection and administration costs associated with its collection would mean it would be of negligible benefit. That would mean many hours of volunteer time potentially spent on collecting those coins. I would have

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video