Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1822 ..
Mr Stanhope: I am happy to withdraw it.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you very much.
Mr Stanhope: As long as the point that I was making is clearly understood.
MR SPEAKER: It has been.
MR QUINLAN (7.21): I want to address this motion from the perspective of the marketing approach of the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation and the Government. The Chief Minister said she took CTEC's advice on the application of an entry fee and proceeded with it. The previously free Floriade now has a charge and we have decided, at least this year, to charge visitors. Visitors have not benefited from this lively local debate. Many people time their visit to Canberra to match Floriade. A lot of retirees regularly travel here for Floriade, a lot of them on a shoestring. The first they will know of this very substantial charge will be on arrival at Floriade. I have a rough idea that they will feel some resentment. That resentment will carry into the future and may have a negative impact on their desire to see Floriade again. There will be a certain amount of alienation of some of those visitors.
Speaking of alienation, we were well on the way to alienating quite a number of tourism operators and companies that had prebooked and had printed promotional material which did not take this charge into account. If I understand what the Chief Minister has now effectively announced in her speech, there is going to be some concession for prebooked tours. That is what I thought I heard. That is typical of what has happened with this whole process. There has been absolutely no planning whatsoever. We have seen the process introduced. We are going to distribute freebies to Canberrans. We are going to use ACTEW to do it, but we did not do it in time. Because ACTEW has a billing cycle, we cannot get the tickets out in time. Therefore, we are going to go through the electoral roll and find people, or we are going to write letters to nursing homes and to the hostels where people live. In fact, right from the beginning, the process of implementation of this charge has been a right royal cock-up. Is "cock-up" on your list, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: It probably is. I suggest you change the word, thank you.
MR QUINLAN: It was a right royal fiasco.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR QUINLAN: My pleasure. We have had trouble defining what a family is. Is it mum and dad and 2.8 kids? How many kids constitute a family before there is an additional charge? What about grandma out of the granny flat? We have been making this policy on the run. Having done so, we will have alienated quite a number of people, including visitors. It is claimed within the material that comes out from CTEC that Floriade brings to this town $25.4m - it must be a well-researched figure to get to the decimal points -