Page 3933 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 23 November 1993

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60 per cent in occupancy terms, so we are doing well. Over seven of the past eight quarters, we have actually improved, so I think that it is a sign of a healthy industry. Just a couple of years ago, as I am sure members will know, the ACT was consistently a little below the national figure, so it has been quite a turnaround.

I would like to sound one note of caution, and that is that we should not become complacent. Domestic tourism in the whole country is, in fact, fairly stagnant. Although the ACT is improving better than any other jurisdiction, we do have to continue to promote the ACT enthusiastically and actively, and I believe that we particularly have to do this overseas. Although, as I said, domestic tourism is somewhat stagnant, international arrivals are improving at a very much faster rate than domestic tourism. In fact, international arrivals are improving eight times as fast as domestically, so I do believe that Canberra has a great deal to gain by some overseas promotion. Obviously the recent Government and business delegation to Japan had that as a central aim, and I will be reporting to the Assembly on that visit.

Madam Speaker, I think that members would be pleased to hear about these good results for a vital industry in the ACT. I consider that one of the main reasons for these good results is the tourism industry itself coming of age in many ways in the Territory, working cooperatively with themselves and with the Government. We have a chapter of the Australian Tourism Industry Association formed in the ACT and they, as a professional industry body, are doing a great deal to enliven the tourism scene here. I think you cannot discount the fact that, as a tourism destination, Canberra has few, if any, rivals and over time word will get around, I am quite sure; but, as I say, it must be with enthusiastic and dedicated promotion, not just by the Government but also by the industry itself, and the way things are developing I believe that we can be optimistic about that.

Secondary Colleges - Enrolment Policy

MR STEVENSON: My question is to Bill Wood, the Minister for Education. I have been informed by the parents of a child that they applied for their child to attend Lake Tuggeranong College next year. As they live in Wanniassa, Lake Tuggeranong College is approximately three-and-a-half kilometres away and the child could travel both ways by pushbike. The parents were told that the child would have to attend Narrabundah College which I am informed is about 17 kilometres from their home. To make the return trip to Narrabundah the child would need to take two buses each way. Would the Minister indicate what the policy covering this matter is, and perhaps suggest how it may be resolved?

MR WOOD: Madam Speaker, I thank Mr Stevenson for his question. I think the parent to whom he refers has contacted a number of members, including my office. I am not sure how it can be resolved to the absolute satisfaction of that student. We have an open enrolment policy in the ACT - that is, a student may enrol at any school or college if there is a place in that school or college.

Mr Humphries: And there are teachers.

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