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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3718 ..

New Year Festivities

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister for Urban Services. Last month, on 13 October actually, the Minister confirmed that the contract let by the Government to manage the New Year's Eve festivities in Canberra required the contractor to raise at least $250,000 in corporate sponsorship to supplement government funding. Does the Minister agree that the likelihood of that $250,000 corporate sponsorship being available from the marketplace between the award of the event management contract and the end of the year is in fact very small?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my understanding is that the department continues to negotiate. We have some sponsors and I would hope that we reach that total.

MR HARGREAVES: I have a supplementary question. I think Mr Smyth answered a question but it was not the one that I asked.

Mr Humphries: I think he did.

MR HARGREAVES: He did not, you deaf person.

MR SPEAKER: Come along. Order! Get on with it.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, the supplementary question is this: What strategic plan has the contractor developed to - - -

Mr Hird: Johnno, you can do better than that.

MR HARGREAVES: May I start again, with your indulgence, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: You may.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you. What strategic plan has the contractor developed to raise the sponsorship dollars, and what success has the company achieved against that plan to date? Will the Minister table the sponsorship plan? What will be the effect on the New Year's Eve event if the company fails to raise the sponsorship? What will Canberrans miss out on, or what will they pay for out of the public purse?

Mr Humphries: It is a hypothetical question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: The last part of the question is hypothetical, but you can answer the rest.

MR SMYTH: It is curious, Mr Speaker. In the first part of the question he suggests we have not got a hope of raising any money, and in the second part he does not actually ask, "Oh, but how much have you raised so far?". It is curious, Mr Speaker. It is the same approach that those opposite always take to anything that they do not like. They open their question with a preamble that puts forward something that is not necessarily true. Then you might search for a few facts in the second question.

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