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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1051 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Neither James Service nor Mr Jim Service is a director of the Capital Property Corporation Pty Ltd, nor do they hold any direct or indirect interests. The interests in that company are solely held by the Snow family.

Let us address the relationship between CTEC's chairman, Mr James Service, and the lease by CTEC of office space at Brindabella Business Park. Section 15 of CTEC's act relates to a personal or pecuniary interest, real rather than theoretical. The real question for the purpose of section 15 is: "Does James Service stand to gain any personal or pecuniary benefit, directly or indirectly, from the negotiation of this lease?" The answer is clearly no. Mr James Service has nothing to gain directly or indirectly from the decision of CTEC to enter a lease with Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd. As CTEC's chairman and a director of other boards in Canberra, James Service's interests are well documented and known to the government. I am advised that there was no interest which Mr James Service was obliged by section 15 of the act to disclose in relation to CTEC's lease of offices at the Brindabella Business Park.

If members of the Assembly believe that referring this matter to the Auditor-General is necessary, I have absolutely no problem with that, nor does CTEC. The corporation has taken great care to conduct the process correctly. There is nothing to hide.

In conclusion, I would like to repeat a statement made by Mr Jim Service, an experienced chair and member of a number of boards and our respected Canberran of the Year. He said:

1. My son is Chairman of CTEC.

2. I am a director of Capital Airport Group-but not a shareholder.

3. Capital Airport Group is responsible for the management of the airport. It is not a developer of Brindabella Industrial Park. Capital Airport Group simply ensures that the airport meets the requirements of the airport master plan.

4. The development is being undertaken by a company representing Snow family investments. I am not a director of that company, do not have any financial interests in it and am not privy to its affairs. The same applies to my son and all our family interests.

5. Beyond what has been made public, I know nothing about any CTEC negotiations. Neither I or my son or any of our family interests have any financial interest in the outcome of any such negotiations.

6. Kerrie Tucker could have had all this information by a simple telephone call.

Let us return to the bigger picture, Mr Deputy Speaker. CTEC, at the end of the day, is a tourism body that also runs events with tourism benefits and I believe that they, and the local tourism industry, are doing a very good job. Their focus on boosting year-round visitation is starting to pay off. Overnight visitors to the ACT have increased 20 per cent in defiance of a national 2.5 per cent decline. The average length of stay is now 3.2 nights. These additional tourists spend $170 million, adding $139 million to gross state product. That spending created 2,300 new jobs in tourism and about 880 jobs in related industries. The extra revenue generated from taxes related to this activity, excluding payroll tax, is in the order of $5.8 million, and that pays for many services in our community, ranging from schools to health and police.

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