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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1719 ..


(i) dialogue with the National Park City Foundation; and

(ii) community consultation to identify the level of support from organisations, business and the community;

(b) continue to undertake important branding to position Canberra as “more than” meets the eye to attract people to visit, study, work, do business and live; and

(c) continue to engage with, and provide content to, local and national media outlets; enabling them to portray Canberra’s unique identity and characteristics as a great place to visit, study, work, do business and live.

Recently Canberra was named the world’s most sustainable city. This is a great honour and testament to the incredible work undertaken at all levels across our community, from robust policymaking by the ACT government to contributions made by business, industry, not-for-profits, advocacy and individuals. It takes a village.

However, I was dismayed, following this news, to see many media channels, nationally and even internationally, splashing images of Parliament House alongside these headlines. Very often Canberra and the goings-on at Parliament House and politicians are conflated in the national media. Canberra is more than just Parliament House. Perhaps it is time for a divorce. I recognise and am grateful for the contribution that Parliament House brings, not least of which is the very reason for our being. This fact is not lost on me. But we have grown up, evolved and matured into a city in our own right, and this city has so much to offer.

Over the past decade we have seen the success of the Brand CBR campaign. I think we would all agree that this has helped us to reimagine our city, particularly in the eyes of the nation. It has contributed to fostering a renewed sense of place, pride and identity.

The work of Visit Canberra, in many of its marketing campaigns over the last 10 or so years, has helped cast Canberra in a different light. Testament to this is the growth of our visitor economy, with visitor expenditure increasing from $1.3 billion in December 2009 to $2.8 billion in December 2019.

We were recognised by Lonely Planet as ranking third in their salubrious “Best in Travel” in 2018. Accolades like this do not come easily. They are achieved by a multifaceted approach to place-making. This Saturday night you can even tune into SBS to see Canberra feature on episode 1 of Trail Towns, showcasing Canberra as a leading bicycle tourism destination in Australia and New Zealand.

I am so proud to call Canberra home. I made a conscious decision to move here 16 years ago and there is not a single day that I have regretted that decision or given it a second thought. In Canberra it is hard to keep up with weekend activities. There is always some festival, activity or celebration. There is always something to do and something different to do, as a visitor or a local.

Some of our advantages include our proximity to and the ease of being able to connect with different places and experiences within the ACT. The relative lack of traffic


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