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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 840 ..


MR GENTLEMAN: They are not being asked to do more with less. We are investing more and more every year into ACT Policing, and the results show that. The results on the ground show that crime statistics are dropping, particularly in areas Mr Hanson frequents—which is interesting when we read the press release today—but it is important that we support the police into the future. That is our policy and that is our program, and you have seen it roll out. As I said, there was $33.9 million in the last budget to support 60 new officers in the PSM and more than $30 million in resourcing prior to that over the years.

Floriade—COVID-19

MR DAVIS: My question is to the Chief Minister: while many Canberrans are excited to see the government’s announcement that Floriade will go ahead at Commonwealth Park at the end of this year, there is no denying that Floriade Reimagined had tremendous social and economic benefits in our town centres and our smaller group centres. Chief Minister, what is the government doing to ensure that all Canberrans, and particularly Canberra’s small businesses in the outer suburbs, are enjoying the social and economic benefits of Floriade?

MR BARR: Yes, I do acknowledge that in the pandemic staging major events was difficult. We sought to be creative and to utilise the more than a million bulbs that we had available, and to plant and distribute them to about 60 to 80 sites around the territory. Clearly Floriade 2020 was not a significant tourism event, for obvious reasons, so as part of the planning for the 2021 event—and subject, of course, to health advice as we get closer to spring—the government’s intent is both to have a Commonwealth Park presence and also continue a range of plantings in town centres and suburban areas.

It will not be as extensive as in calendar year 2020 because we do need to plant some flowers in Commonwealth Park as well. I think the feedback from the community, the engagement of so many community groups and the dispersal of sites around the city meant there were some economic benefits, as Mr Davis indicated, and perhaps more considerable social benefits.

Floriade is a major economic driver for the city’s tourism and hospitality industry, so the government will need to balance the attendance—clearly, it is about 50 per cent tourists and 50 per cent locals—and we will seek to strike that balance. As we get closer to the event, I will have more to say about how we intend to do that.

MR DAVIS: Chief Minister, what is the government’s strategy to diversify the economic benefit of tourism more broadly as borders reopen, particularly in my electorate of Brindabella?

MR BARR: I think there is considerable opportunity associated with the southern part of your electorate, Mr Davis, particularly the national park, and the range of tourism activities and venues—Tidbinbilla and Corin Forest, amongst others, together with the national park itself. Within the Tuggeranong town centre there are accommodation providers and a range of tourism experiences that people who might


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