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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1110 ..


Debate resumed from 28 February 1996, on motion by Mrs Carnell:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR WOOD (4.13): Mr Speaker, this report obviously is just what it says - an estimate of economic benefits to the ACT arising from the international component of the activity around the Olympics in the year 2000. The paper and subsequent statements pointed out that we have lost a bit of the proportion of international visitors that we used to get, and the paper claims that, among other things, we have to look at that aspect. There is a point that I think is of very considerable significance in the cautionary notes in the report. It says:

The outcome will also be influenced by the ACT's success in achieving important transport links with Sydney which will make Canberra, given its National Capital status, sporting facilities and proximity, a more attractive destination for international tourists.

I think those transport links, in particular Speedrail, are very important. With that, the time factor is very important. It must surely be approaching the time when decisions have to be taken on the progress of that Speedrail link.

This report is very much a preliminary document, as it says. Some modelling has been done and the report indicates that there is a great deal more to be done. There is not a great deal to be said about it at this stage. The Chief Minister did take the opportunity of its presentation to justify her trip to Brazil. Very little that is constructive can be said about that trip. The most that can be said is that she retraced ground that others had done quite well beforehand.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism) (4.15): Mr Speaker, the Olympics offer great opportunities for the ACT, not only in the short period that the Olympics are on but also in the lead-up to them and the post-Olympic phase. The report prepared by the Business and Regional Development Bureau on preliminary estimates of the economic benefits to the ACT of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, which was tabled during the last sitting, highlights these opportunities. The report also emphasises that this Government needs to make a commitment to pursue these opportunities. They will not materialise if we just sit back and wait. We need to actively market our sporting facilities, bid for national and international lead-up events, and offer our facilities for training. We need to raise the ACT's profile, in other words, nationally and internationally.

Canberra Tourism is working closely with New South Wales Tourism on joint marketing and on strategies to maximise the benefits that the Olympics will bring. We are working with regional tourism organisations on packages which will attract people to the region for sporting and recreational activities. We also need to improve the infrastructure, as Mr Wood said, in terms of transport links between Sydney and Canberra.

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