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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 880 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

will find that Sports House have had consultants in and they have worked out how much money their sports bring into town, and the futsal competition can tell you how much money it brings into town. We have various events which I think are somewhat - - -

Ms Carnell: And the clubs do it, too.

MR QUINLAN: Yes, clubs do it. The dragway figures obviously were measured as well. It was confirmed by CTEC, I think, that it does bring in millions of dollars. So we have got these mounting claims. Everything we do, everything that happens in town, is measured by the number of dollars that are brought into town. Being a wizened old accountant, I would not mind knowing whether there is any more detailed analysis to get to the actual values so that we have a rule of thumb. When the Government decides that it wishes to be involved in an event and needs to spend some seed capital, some money, from Consolidated Revenue, from the taxpayers, how do we calculate whether the event is of net good? We can all look at the gross figures and say, "The pubs did all right". I do not know who owns the Lakeside or Rydges and how much of that money stays in town.

I know that it creates employment, I know that employers pay payroll tax and I know that it creates activity for taxi cabs, buses, fast food shops and whatever. But, if we are to focus on events, I would not mind hearing from the Government about the yardsticks, the meters, the rules that they apply when we hear these large numbers. No doubt, I will chuck some of these large numbers around seeing as that is the currency we use in debate - excuse the pun - but I would not mind knowing how the Government actually calculates the net benefit of a given event and the net benefit of spending all these millions of dollars. Is it just going to be the case that we will have the inflated arguments or the arguments built on gross figures - in every sense measured; it just depends on how good your accountant is and how good your research has been - on which to make claims and then turn to governments, successive governments, and ask for support?

Yes, I do not mind a good event, a good bit of party time. I do not mind a photo opportunity every now and then, if you can share them around, Mrs Carnell. But I would not mind knowing whether there is any real measure and real base for a lot of the claims that are made. I look forward to your speech. I did anticipate that there had to be some reason that the leader of policy for the Government had brought on the subject. I am waiting for some startling announcement or revelation.


(Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.40): As you would know, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the reason for bringing on this MPI today is really clear. It is simply because of the huge benefit that conducting events brings to the ACT. A large number of jobs are created as a result of festivals and events generally in the ACT. I think it is very important that the community understand both the community benefit and the economic benefit of conducting major events. The need to market these events and for us all to take them on board are things we all should be behind. Mr Quinlan made the point that I tend to be the No. 1 supporter of most of these events in the ACT. I am very happy to take that role. But I would hope that the other 16 members of this Assembly would be No. 1 supporters as well. Unless we are out

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