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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3389 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order under standing order 202(a).

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, Mr De Domenico was not asked the question.

MR SPEAKER: No, but he is answering it.

Mr Berry: He was not asked one.

MR SPEAKER: It does not matter. He has been asked by the Treasurer to answer the question.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, as I am Minister for Tourism and the question related in part to tourism, and as I am the Minister responsible for CanTrade and the second part related to CanTrade, I am suggesting that I answer the question, and I will. Mr Wood, as I said, is usually very positive, or more positive than his colleagues from time to time. However, it seems that he has got a touch of the Berrys and a touch of something else.

Yes, we did establish CanTrade last year. Whilst CanTrade initially was an advisory body to advise the Government, we have given it a new role. It now has a delivery role through project teams. Mr Wood, yes, it has been very successful. For example, members of the board of CanTrade were responsible for introducing the situation where AOFR and ADC have agreed to use Canberra as their launching pad into South East Asia, which will create, let us say, about 300 jobs here in the ACT. It was CanTrade that was responsible for getting FAI to sponsor the Canberra Rally. They are two things immediately done by the CanTrade board that did not happen before. The business investment scheme and the business migration scheme are some more initiatives of the CanTrade board. The Canberra Promotion Centre is something that members will be hearing more about. They should go over and have a look at it. Once again, that reflects some of the work done by CanTrade.

Whilst Mr Wood did give me the opportunity to answer this question, I must congratulate CanTrade on their excellent expertise and the excellent job they are doing. Yes, Mr Wood, there are certain times during the year when tourism figures are down. There are also certain times when tourism figures are up. The last figures that I have seen actually reflect an increase in tourism. It is the aim of a corporatised or statutory authority Canberra Tourism from 1 January next year to increase our tourists from 1.6 million to 1.7 million. Whilst that reflects only 100,000, that will inject $20m into the Canberra economy.

Unlike members opposite, I will continue to sing the praises of CanTrade. I will continue to sing the praises of Canberra Tourism and the future of Canberra small business and the Canberra economy. We have to continue to be positive. Members on this side of the house will continue to be positive. We also have the action here before us to say that yes, we will create new jobs because that is what the community demands. We are very proud of the budget that Mrs Carnell delivered yesterday.

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