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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1820 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I do have a problem with Canberrans paying twice this year or, for that matter, any year in the future. We do need Floriade to grow. We do need it to stand on its own two feet. There will always be a contribution from government, because it is a very appropriate and very positive contribution. But to add $1.3m to our bottom line, to our operating loss, or to the costs, taxes, charges or levies here in the ACT we believe would be inappropriate. We do believe that the tourists, the majority of people who come to Floriade, should pay as they do for other similar shows, as they do to go out to dinner, as they do for the coach ride, as they do for accommodation, as they do to go to the pictures.

Mr Berry, in his speech spoke about coach operators. There will be a special gate for group entry, as I think there has been before. Coupons will be posted to prebooked tours for coach passengers, so there will be no running around in the bus desperately looking for $10. They will have their prebooked coupons. All tours that booked before the announcement of the entry charge are exempt from payment. Comments that CTEC have placed advertising indicating that Floriade was free are simply untrue. CTEC has not placed any advertising whatsoever that indicated that there was no charge for our premier flower festival.

In making a decision on this motion, we must remember that we have passed this line of the budget already. I have to wonder what this motion means when we have debated this issue and passed the line of the budget that has tourism in it. If this motion is passed, far be it from me to know how the Government will find $1m when we have already passed the budget. Most importantly, we really need to get behind a growing Floriade. (Extension of time granted) It would be nice to see everyone in this place, instead of bellyaching, get behind Floriade, support it to make it the best Floriade ever. I have not heard one positive comment by any of those opposite.

Mr Stanhope: We loved it when it was free.

MS CARNELL: You only liked it when it was free?

Mr Stanhope: We loved it when it was free.

MS CARNELL: I am very pleased to know that Mr Stanhope only loves Floriade when it is free.

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Chief Minister has all this week consistently misrepresented things that people on this side of the house have said. She consistently, time and time again, misrepresents things people say here, to the point where it is downright dishonest.

MR SPEAKER: If you wish to make a personal explanation, you will have the chance to do so under standing order 46 after the Chief Minister has finished speaking.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, Mr Stanhope did say - I am sure everybody heard him - that when Floriade was free he liked it.

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