Page 2563 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 24 August 1993

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Tuesday, 24 August 1993


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 2.30 pm and read the prayer.


Chief Minister's Visit to Japan

MRS CARNELL: My question is to the Chief Minister. I refer to the fact that the Chief Minister and a delegation will be travelling to Japan in October to promote the ACT - an entirely worthy undertaking. However, is it true that a two-week trip to Japan will cost the ACT ratepayers in the vicinity of $180,000? How can this extraordinary sum be justified? Whose travel is covered by the sum? Will the Chief Minister provide a breakdown of the estimated cost of this trip?

MS FOLLETT: I thank Mrs Carnell for the question. It is the case, Madam Speaker, as I have made public - it is not a secret - that I will be leading a delegation to Japan in October of this year. The purpose of that delegation is to promote Canberra on three fronts - in the tourism area, in the area of education and, of course, in the area of advanced technology. In deciding to undertake this trip, Madam Speaker, I took into account the fact that I had been urged to do so by some organisations within the ACT. I had in mind also Mrs Carnell's statement that this is the sort of activity I ought to be undertaking. So, I find it a little strange that she is raising the issue at this stage.

Madam Speaker, it does cost money, obviously, to go overseas for a period of time, and Mrs Carnell would be no stranger to that fact. At this stage the delegation has not been decided. The itinerary is still in the process of being decided; hence the precise costs are not settled at this stage. But I expect that the figure Mrs Carnell has mentioned is roughly the order of cost, Madam Speaker, and that cost will be met from within the funds available to my Economic Development Division. We will not be going for additional funds to meet that cost. Until such time as all of the details are settled we will not know the precise cost. It is my intention, of course, that private sector people coming on that delegation should bear their own costs, and that is the basis on which I have been working.

MRS CARNELL: I have a supplementary question, Madam Speaker. Chief Minister, which ACT agencies do you intend milking to help meet the unprecedented cost of this exercise?

MS FOLLETT: The question has been answered, Madam Speaker. I suggest to the Leader of the Opposition that she listen.

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