Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1830 ..
Mr Corbell: How did you not know that?
MR KAINE: I did not know that I was going to have to pay $5 to park. I am not sure that I know even today where the money went, whether it went to Floriade or whether it went to some other purpose. The point is that last year a lot of people did pay for the privilege of parking their car and walking across to Floriade. To argue that they should not have to pay anything I think is a spurious argument. Those of us who live here can go down there on one visit - and most people do not want to go more than once - and it will not cost them anything.
The people who are being asked to pay are the people who come from out of town, who make no contribution in any way to the costs of mounting Floriade. I do not think that is unreasonable. I have not got a pass yet. I keep being told that I will get a pass when I get my electricity bill. I think I have had the last electricity bill that I am going to get before 19 September and I have not received a pass. I do not know how many people are in the same category. Maybe somebody will send me a pass - I do not know. I think the argy-bargy is a bit unjustified. I have said long before today that I have no difficulty in principle with the notion of the Government asking people to make a contribution to see this event. I do not think it is unreasonable at all. There is not much that happens around Canberra or anywhere else that you can go to for nothing really. You can walk around the lake if it is a nice day. Some of us do that. Some, in fact, run around it. I do not do that.
I am rather fascinated that two of my colleagues on the crossbench should suddenly decide that this is an issue they are going to send a message to the Government on. That is very interesting. At the end of the day it probably will have no effect, or very little effect, on the Government at all. If the Chief Minister and Treasurer says, "I am sorry, we do not have any more money to put into Floriade", the management of Floriade is left with the problem; CTEC is left with the problem. It does not impose any problem on the Government at all. I am not too sure what my colleagues seek to achieve.
I must admit that I read Mr Rugendyke's amendment to Mr Berry's motion with a real question in my mind as to what on earth it does. It does not affect the motion at all. I do not know whether this is a bit of a salve to Mr Rugendyke's conscience. Whether he seeks to amend the motion so that he can support it, I am not too sure. I have no objection at all to people from out of town being asked to make a contribution to visit Floriade. I do not think that there is anything unreasonable about that at all. I am not too sure what this debate is really about. I declare my lack of support for this motion.
MR BERRY (8.02): I would just like to comment on a few things that were said by members of the Government. There seemed to be some sort of an indication that there was no appreciation of Floriade from amongst members of the Labor Party. That is a whole lot of hogwash. It is something that many of us have always enjoyed, and we have always applauded the effort that has gone into it. What concerns me is the continual tirade from government members about Floriade being tired. I was there last year. I did not think it was tired. It was different. I heard that some people criticised the layout, but I would not have called it tired.