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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 396 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

a probity audit into CTEC's decision to move to the airport and put a hold on CTEC's move until this audit has been tabled in the Assembly?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation is governed by its own act. The corporation, through its board, established a subcommittee, and they examined all the aspects of the tenders, including the financial options submitted by those on the short list. How did we get the short list? This followed a comprehensive tender and evaluation process which was done by a property consultant. They have made a commercial decision, as they are allowed to.

This is curious. We are speaking about an asset to the territory. The airport is absolutely vital to our tourism industry and the potential to turn it into an international airport and further increase international visitation to this place is of immense value in the long term to us. The government has faith in the board of CTEC that they carry out their duties properly and I believe that this has been done in this case.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Given that the minister has such confidence in the processes, will he table in the Assembly all documents relating to the board's decision, including the detail of this so-called comprehensive analysis and the minutes of meetings?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, it is somewhat sad to see this continual running down of those in the private sector who are attempting to build up this city. The processes that they follow are always brought to account because those opposite or on the cross benches do not agree with their decisions. What we want to do is build up places like the airport. What we want to do is make sure that tourism, and tourism run through CTEC, has the support of everyone here. I am not at all worried by the process. I am assured that the process is above board.

I am not aware of any reason to table these documents. I think the process has been followed. The board established a subcommittee to look at that. I believe the process has been appropriate and I support the decisions that CTEC has taken in the interests of tourism in the ACT.

North Ainslie autism unit

MR WOOD: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, I am sure you are aware that parents of children in the North Ainslie autism unit have been supplementing their children's education program in a government school this year and in past years by paying for the additional staff hours needed for an effective education program for their children. Your education department contributes only the necessary support hours. Last year these parents supplemented six hours per week of their children's education in this way. This year it has risen to 121/2 hours, for 71/2 of which the parents bear the total cost. Both families are under financial strain to meet this commitment. One family has been assisted by a short-term grant from a community organisation, but that funding finishes this Friday. As a result, this family feels it has no option but to withdraw their child from school next week. Minister, why aren't these children receiving the full necessary support from the government for their education?

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