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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1358 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

President of the Senate will be in a position to back it up and to support the town that she represents on Capital Hill.

I have probably spent as much time on tourism as I have on any other area in the spectrum of portfolios I hold, bar maybe Treasury. That has been in an effort to bring together the various stakeholders to work in a constructive fashion, to get the layers to work together and to integrate promotion. I think we are on the way in our negotiations with the national attractions on cost sharing on promotion. They are the flagships of the ACT, but they have tended to work in isolation from us. We intend to work with them in a more integrated fashion. I have met with that group in meetings towards that end.

We are also trying to set up a more representative process for the tourism industry so that we can get the best value and the best attraction in this town to bring in as many tourists as we can and hopefully make Kendell Airlines viable and attract a few more flights from Virgin so that there is some competition in flights to Canberra so that we do not see $600 plus fares to and from Melbourne and $400 plus fares between here and Sydney. The prices are astronomical, and it will have a very serious impact upon Canberra unless that scenario changes.

I hope that the Commonwealth and the minister for territories and the minister for transport recognise that the process that exists now is not only having an impact upon Canberra but is similarly having an impact upon regional Australia. They suffer also, and hopefully something can be done to reintroduce a level of competition that will get us back to sane airline prices, if we cannot replace the now defunct Ansett.

MR PRATT: Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to speak again briefly.

Leave granted.

MR PRATT: Thank you, Mr Quinlan, for your gracious support. I want to clarify the fact that I support this motion. Perhaps I was swept away by Ms MacDonald's attacks.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (6.00): I think I should say a few words, Mr Deputy Speaker. I will not speak for long. I will just say a couple of things.

Mr Wood: I hear that all the time.

MR HUMPHRIES: You hear it most often from Mr Stanhope, who says he wants a brief extension, and then two extensions later he is still going. I will not use my time, provided I am not interrupted.

I reinforce the comments made by my colleagues Mr Smyth and Mr Pratt that it is the grossest distortion of the facts to suggest that the former Liberal government was inactive on the collapse of Ansett Airlines in 2001. In fact, there have been fewer more appropriate and speedy reactions to this sort of crisis than there were in the case of the ACT government in 2001.

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