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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1059 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

I think it is also important to know that this really is not, as it appears, an issue about Woolworths or National Foods bringing milk into the ACT. This is a turf war between rival co-ops in New South Wales. But our job here is to protect Canberra jobs. I have to say that that is the approach that Mr Osborne has taken and it is the approach that the Government has taken. The only jobs that those opposite seem to want to protect are the jobs of the lawyers, who will end up making all the money if this thing ends up in court. Let us see whether we can keep it out of court and let us see whether we can keep Canberra jobs.

Tourism Promotion

MR HIRD: Chief Minister, I notice that those opposite are silent when we are trying to resolve this very serious problem.

MR SPEAKER: Ask your question, Mr Hird.

MR HIRD: Yes, Mr Speaker. My question is on jobs, of course. It is directed to the Chief Minister in her capacity as Minister for tourism. I refer to Tuesday's budget announcement that the Government has agreed to commit an extra $6m over the next three years for increased tourism promotion, which will provide a fantastic boost to the tourist industry within Canberra and the region. Can the Chief Minister advise the parliament why the Government has taken this decision and how this new funding will be used to promote Canberra and, more importantly, the region - we sit in the centre of a region of 300,000 people - which "Charlie Chuckles" Berry over there would have done nothing about?

MS CARNELL: I thank Mr Hird for the question. Mr Speaker, this Government is determined to put Canberra on the map as a tourism, education, sporting, business and investment destination - something that those opposite probably would not know about. Tourism is certainly one of our major growth industries. We have about 10,000 full- and part-time jobs here in Canberra supported by tourism, and each year visitors to Canberra spend about $300m. It is a lot of money, and it makes it a very important industry. It is estimated that, for every 117 visitors to Canberra, one new job is created. And do you know what, Mr Stanhope? Some of those are for women. So, putting money into tourism actually creates jobs for women.

Mr Speaker, when I said during the last election campaign that we needed to dramatically boost our tourism promotion and marketing dollar, there was no shortage of critics. It will not surprise you, Mr Speaker, that leading the charge of the critics was, as you guessed, the Labor Party. So, I wonder what the Opposition will say about this budget, which provides the single biggest expansion of tourism marketing since self-government.

Over the next three years, an extra $6m, including $1.5m this year alone, will be injected into the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation. The funds will be used both nationally and internationally to market Canberra as a tourism destination. CTEC will work with Project 2000 to maximise the benefits of the Olympics to our city.

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