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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1165 ..

MR SPEAKER: If you wish you have other avenues such as standing order 46, yes, at the end of question time.

Mr Berry: Standing order 46. Okay. That will do me.

John Farnham Concert

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. This morning on radio news bulletins you chastised the ACT community for not getting behind the cancelled John Farnham concert. The Chief Minister criticised the sales of tickets in Canberra compared to tickets sold for similar John Farnham concerts in Sydney and Melbourne. While Mr Farnham was the headline act at all three cities, there are two major differences in the product. Is the Chief Minister aware that the concerts in Melbourne and Sydney are at indoor venues, not outdoor venues? Although it is not so cold in the corporate boxes from which Mrs Carnell might view this event, I can certainly assure you that it is not so hot in the outer at night at this time of year. Also, Chief Minister, are you aware that there are eight acts on the concert bills in Melbourne and Sydney rather than the three that were on the Canberra program? Chief Minister, bearing this information in mind, do you believe that your criticism of the Canberra public this morning was appropriate and justified?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the point I was making this morning is quite clear. Canberra people, not just for this concert but generally, do not buy their tickets early. We have had many phone calls from people who said, "But we were going to buy them next week". Canberrans generally, and not just for this, have always believed there would always be tickets, so you could buy them the day before or two days before. This happened not just for this concert. It is an ongoing problem at Canberra Theatre, and I think Mr Humphries, as previous Arts Minister, would back me up on this. It really has been an issue for Canberra and we do need to encourage people to buy their tickets early.

Mr Rugendyke makes a comment about indoor versus outdoor concerts. The problem for Canberra is that we do not have a venue big enough for this concert to happen in Canberra indoors. The biggest indoor venue we have is Bruce indoor, but the seating capacity there, even if full, does not pay to have a concert of this sort of magnitude staged. So we have a choice of outdoor or outdoor if we want the concert at all. The cost of staging was such that an indoor venue simply did not produce the dollars needed to run the concert. That is the issue. Maybe people would argue that we need a bigger indoor venue in the ACT, but that is for another day, Mr Speaker. The promoters and others believe very strongly, and I believe, too, that a great group of people are coming together for this concert. It is a true statement, Mr Speaker. If people do not buy tickets early for concerts we will continue - - -

Mr Corbell: Blame the customers, not the marketing. Blame the customers, not the marketing. What a bizarre explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Order! You seem to have a great deal to say, Mr Corbell. I would be careful, if I were you.

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