Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3270 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
heading up the new area are very similar. Certainly, there are some extra responsibilities. There is no doubt about that. This Government is committed to advertising and using merit selection for all of our job selections in this sort of area.
MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, when will you acknowledge that Floriade attendances are disturbingly down because of your fingerprints all over the management of the festival - things like last year's disastrous introduction of fees dropped on an unsuspecting public and tourism industry at the last moment, which hit tourism operators and Floriade's stallholders and affected attendances; then this year the eleventh-hour announcement that night sessions were cancelled, another blow to operators who had already booked tours with night sessions; and the doubts over the future of the festival expressed by you, Chief Minister, and your early refusal to guarantee the future of Floriade? Will you, Chief Minister, stop the campaign against Canberrans because they refuse to accept the Government's mismanagement of Floriade? Will you, Chief Minister, table in the Assembly today the attendance figures for this year's Floriade? Is it not about time you accepted the responsibility for the continuing demolition of Floriade?
MS CARNELL: I have not received the final figures from CTEC about the crowd numbers at Floriade, so it is impossible to table them. I do not have them. What I can say is that we certainly are expecting the numbers to be down on last year. There is a very good reason for this. Firstly, this year's Floriade fell victim to some pretty unseasonable weather.
Mr Berry: Spring - it happens here every year.
Mr Corbell: It is spring. It rains in spring every year.
MR SPEAKER: Continue, Chief Minister.
MS CARNELL: Not while Mr Corbell continues to interrupt. The weather bureau has - - -
Mr Corbell: That is what happens in spring.
Mr Quinlan: It is called spring rain.
MR SPEAKER: Order, please! If you want to have a discussion, go outside into the lobby while the Chief Minister is answering the question.
MS CARNELL: The weather bureau has advised that it rained on 16 of the 30 days that the festival was running. In other words, more than 50 per cent of the outdoor event was disrupted by rain. The wettest days of all occurred on the October long weekend, the three-day period when traditionally the largest number of visitors come to Floriade. I know Mr Berry believes that I can do all sorts of wonderful things - possibly walk on