Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1825 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
That was the threat tonight. The Government has stuffed up again. I think the Government needs to find the funds for Floriade without penalising important underresourced community services. It is a pretty outrageous argument that has been put.
The gold coin donation will enable at least some revenue to be forthcoming to government. I think it is a reasonable motion. I hope government takes stock of what it has done and considers very carefully what it does next year. If people who go to Floriade this year paid only a gold coin donation, it would give us an opportunity to survey not only local people but also tourists to get a sense of whether or not people are prepared to pay. As I said, a lot of local people go to Floriade more than once. The fee will be an impost on them. Local people will certainly be affected by this payment.
MR OSBORNE (7.36): I speak in anticipation of an amendment to be moved by Mr Rugendyke. It is only a minor amendment. When I read the motion moved by Mr Berry, I do not think it directs the Government to revert to a gold coin donation. Consistently over the last week, the attitude that both Mr Rugendyke and I have taken is that issues like this do relate to the budget. I believe that we have already passed the budget line that relates to CTEC. The amendment to be moved by Mr Rugendyke clarifies that the motion just calls on the Government to revert to a gold coin donation in line with the recommendation of the Estimates Committee. This recommendation from the Estimates Committee is one that I put up. From memory, the Labor Party representatives wanted to remove an entry fee completely from this year's Floriade.
Mr Corbell: And we compromised.
MR OSBORNE: They compromised. I have said a number of times that I have no problem with people being charged to enter Floriade. However, I do have a problem with an entry fee of $10. I think it is way too high and it was announced far too late. My understanding is that Cabinet, not this Cabinet, made a decision last year.
Mr Moore: That is not true. I was in the Cabinet.
MR OSBORNE: Last year?
Mr Moore: No. I was in the Cabinet when this decision was made.
MR OSBORNE: I believe a decision was made last year to look at an entry fee. I think the fee was announced too late. This has been factored into the budget. As I said, I have no problem with people being charged to enter Floriade. I think a gold coin donation is quite reasonable in the first year, or even the first year or two, and then we can negotiate with the community and, as Mr Berry has put quite well in this motion, the relevant commercial interests.
I intend to support the motion. However, both Mr Rugendyke and I need to clarify the first few words of the motion. I will allow Mr Rugendyke to move his amendment, which I might add is his first amendment to anything. He may be a little bit nervous, so treat him kindly.