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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2697 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

The GMC400 in 2001 produced an economic benefit of over $11.2 million for the ACT community. Last year's economic benefit was estimated at $13.2 million. Spectators, volunteers, officials and teams spent an estimated $5.4 million while in the ACT for the event. Local visitor expenditure was estimated to be $3.1 million for 2001. Locally let contracts were worth over $2.7 million. Mr Deputy Speaker, $11.2 million is a good result. If the GMC400 were not held in Canberra, the economic benefit would be lost.

The average economic impact over the last two years is $12.2 million and, based on that figure, we can estimate that the GMC400 will generate an economic benefit for the ACT of some $60 million over the five years of the event. The economic benefit figures are derived from independent evaluation of interstate expenditures by the Centre for Tourism Research and CTEC's records of local expenditure and locally let contracts.

The main factors identified by spectators that influence their decision to attend the GMC400 are atmosphere and enjoyment, and live action and entertainment. Independent evaluation has shown that spectator approval has increased, with 89 per cent of the spectators to this year's GMC400 rating the event as either good or very good, as opposed to 80 per cent in 2000. The results of evaluation reports are now being considered in a series of debriefs and planning for the next event. These debriefs involve CTEC consulting the stakeholders involved with the GMC400, such as AVESCO, Emergency Services and the International Management Group, as well as the participating teams. Areas for finetuning in year three include ticket pricing, spectator facilities and adjustments to the marketing.

In summary, let us remember why we staged the GMC400. The main reason was to increase visitation to the ACT during the slower winter months. Despite a decline in attendance, the GMC400 is clearly achieving this objective: 34 per cent of the crowd were from interstate and they spent $5.4 million in the ACT. We are also promoting the national capital through media publicity worth some $1.2 million, as well as the first-hand experiences of people who come here and have a great time.

The GMC400 is a five-year commitment. Looking at other motor sports events, we know that attendances and revenues will fluctuate as the event matures. We also know that we have a good event. It is unique, it is popular and it has industry support. The government is committed to this event. It brings new dollars into the economy, it stimulates tourism and it promotes year-round visitation. I commend the report to the Assembly. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR BERRY (4.07): When this matter first came before the Assembly, the Labor Party joined the government in supporting the event. At the time, we expressed reservations about the ability of the government to run this event and we have done so over and over again since, lest anybody should misunderstand our position. We wanted this event to succeed. It was an event that had potential for the ACT. We were promised that the business case put to us was a business case that would deliver the outputs that were predicted. Over and over, we were promised that that would occur.

We know from the travel records of this place that the then Chief Minister's office was deeply involved in the event, as staff from her office travelled to South Australia to gather information in relation to the matter. This government decision was predicted to

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