Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1587 ..
Mr Speaker, tourism has done it tough in the wake of September 11, the war in the Gulf and now SARS-and you can add to that our bushfires. The list of airlines filing for bankruptcy is growing, as is the list of airlines cutting back flights into Australia.
While international tourism is facing some very significant challenges, domestic tourism is being recognised as the deserving focus of our efforts.
The Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation has recently launched its autumn campaign headlined by the TV commercials that members would have seen. The response to that campaign has been very positive and anecdotal evidence suggests that Canberra has been doing very well in terms of visitor numbers. This is an early but encouraging sign that Canberra will be the destination of choice for more and more Australian travellers.
The government has received community input to the review of tourism and we will be making a major announcement regarding the future of our tourism effort in coming weeks. Labor is keen to build on the momentum generated within the sector and we look forward to seeing the private sector take more of a role in promoting this city and region.
I turn now to the capital works budget. There will be considerable activity in the construction and engineering sectors relating to bushfire recovery. Capital expenditure by territory agencies, associated with insured assets, is estimated at $26 million alone.
Mr Speaker, the government has not sought to offset its capital works program against the insurance-related activity. In fact, the value of new works commitments is being increased by 15 per cent over the 2002-03 program to ensure that the needs and expectations of the community for improved infrastructure and services are met.
The value of new works commitments in this budget is $104.7 million, compared to $91.2 million in the 2002-03 budget. The budget provides a total cash allocation of $152.1 million for new works and projects continuing from previous years. This is an increase of 7 per cent over the 2002-03 budget financing.
The government is committing to capital works of $36.3 million for urban services covering libraries, including $2.5 million for the Kippax Library, waste management, roads and stormwater infrastructure, urban parks, public transport, sports and recreation, cultural facilities, and infrastructure associated with land release.
Mr Speaker, projects to be undertaken by the justice and community safety portfolio total $15.5 million in value, including the Belconnen joint emergency services centre and the new Woden police station.
Projects worth $30.6 million are being committed in the education, youth and family services portfolio, including continuing refurbishment of older schools, improvement in safety facilities in schools, and a centre for teaching and learning technologies. Turner