Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 22 February 2018) . . Page.. 610 ..
international business they should take them to Hibberson Street, perhaps. It is very good. I enjoy Hibberson Street.
Opposition members interjecting—
Ms Fitzharris: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. While we are pleased to see the Canberra Liberals in true form, for the benefit of everyone, it is extremely difficult to hear not only over the interjections but also the personal and frankly nasty nature of many of these interjections.
MADAM SPEAKER: I have asked you to stop your interjections, Mr Hanson. You are warned now as well. Quite frankly, the behaviour this afternoon and the interjections are quite above normal.
Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, I accept your warning but I am not clear what is so offensive about saying, “Go to dinner on Hibberson Street.” That is what my interjection was. It is hardly a slur or offensive.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, I have made a warning. Throughout the afternoon your interjections have been loud, they have been constant and they have been quite snide and disrespectful.
MR GENTLEMAN: Of course, as minister I am the person responsible for those decisions. Those decisions are made in a budgetary sense. The directorate puts forward a budget for such trips to the Chief Minister. That is looked at by the executive and either approved or not approved. The articles in relation to the trip, including the dinner, were approved within the budget set aside for that particular trip.
Trips like this are very important. We learn new ideas and share international best practice. The delegation visited cities that demonstrated best practice examples of urban innovation, environmental sustainability and smart city initiatives. Indeed, the response from the EU world cities program was very positive. In November last year, following our trip, we had a delegation to Canberra from the world cities program to look at investments in business activities in the ACT. This year in March we will host a conference of 35 delegates from cities across the world that belong to this program. So there are fantastic learning opportunities for Canberrans and it is a very good investment.
MR PARTON: Minister, who actually approved the expenditure for this dinner, and were you presented with a budget for the trip in advance?
MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, that is the detail I just went into in my answer. Of course a budget is prepared well in advance for such a trip. The Prague EU delegation provided an incentive for us to travel there of some $12,500. The dinner provided a response to that, as appropriate. Thirteen delegates attended the dinner, including four from the Prague City Council and one from the EU Parliament itself.
Mrs Jones: A point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance. The question was who approved the dinner. Minister Gentleman said he refers to an earlier answer, but it did