Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1060 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
On top of this, Mr Speaker, we have established the first convention loans assistance scheme, to provide loans to organisations bidding for conventions in the national capital. All of this demonstrates the importance that we place on tourism as an integral part of the future of this city.
It also highlights an interesting difference in this Assembly. Mr Speaker, it seems that, when it comes to budgets, we have a significantly different approach from those opposite. On the one hand, this Government has made tourism promotion a priority, and we have put our money where our mouth is; that is, we have managed to put $6m into tourism over the next three years, with $1.5m this year. Mr Speaker, at the same time we are reducing the operating loss. So, the operating loss is going down and more money is going into tourism.
What did Mr Corbell, Labor's tourism spokesperson, say during the election campaign, as reported in the Canberra Times? He said that a Labor government would pour an extra $1m into tourism, even if it meant going further into the red.
Mr Corbell: I did not say that.
MS CARNELL: Is the Canberra Times lying, Mr Corbell? It was actually in the Canberra Times. Here it is.
Mr Corbell: I do not know what the Canberra Times said; but I did not say that.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, he actually went on to say, "If that means that, instead of having a deficit of $150m, we have a deficit of $151m, that is how we will fund it".
Mr Corbell: Yes, I said that. I did not say the first bit.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, he said, "Yes, we will spend money on tourism, and we will just add it to the bottom line. If it is not $150m, it will be $151m, and that is how we will fund it". Mr Speaker, that is a typical approach from Labor. It is how Labor managed the operating loss in the ACT in the past, and it is how the Labor Party would have managed the operating loss in the future. Mr Speaker, it will be very interesting to hear what Mr Stanhope has to say, and whether it is really just about spending money you do not have.
MR SPEAKER: It being 3.00 pm, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 23 June 1998, question time is interrupted.
MR SPEAKER: I remind members that, pursuant to the authorisation for broadcasting given on 23 June 1998, the proceedings during the consideration of the Appropriation Bill 1998-99 will be broadcast.