Page 1725 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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a new event identified by the events unit, to be introduced as a three-day cycling program in December 2005.

Events, however, are only part of the broader tourism mix. Australian Capital Tourism will continue to focus its resources on destination marketing and promotion in an effort to continue to stimulate visitation and maximise visitor length of stay. The government has been, and remains, committed to Australian Capital Tourism, with ACT funding being more on a per capita basis than that of the larger states.

Mr Smyth: But you just cut the budget.

MR QUINLAN: In 2004-05, the ACT provided $56.79 per capita, over five times that of Queensland and eight times that of New South Wales. Yes, there has been a budget cut for tourism. On the other hand, they will spend just as much in the next year because they do have some cash reserves and they will be drawn upon. The government, through Australian Capital Tourism, will continue to develop further “See yourself in Canberra”—a long-term brand campaign designed to promote Canberra as a place to experience the Australian story.

Capital works

Mr Speaker, this budget again contains an ambitious capital works program. The new works program totals $168 million, with the total cash provided for new works and works in progress being $292 million.

While I have spoken of many projects already, the program contains a number of other projects, in line with community needs, including upgrades to the fire systems at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital, energy and water efficiency initiatives for public housing, and a significant boost to the public art program.

In 2005-06, $32 million of ongoing maintenance of existing assets will be undertaken across all areas of existing infrastructure, ensuring that we maintain the level of amenity and repair of our asset base. The budget anticipates that a similar level of funding will be dedicated in each of the forward years to routine capital upgrades and existing assets.


Mr Speaker, it has been necessary for us to raise additional revenue to cover the emergent cost pressures that I have enumerated today and meet community expectations and needs for services. In order to spread the tax burden as broadly as possible across the ACT community, the 2005-06 budget introduces an increase in the revenue to be collected through general rates.

In addition to the CPI increase of 2.4 per cent on 2004-05 rates revenue from existing properties, there will be a further increase across all rateable properties. This increase will be equal to an average of $104 for residential and rural properties and an average of $312 for commercial properties. The increase in rates will be split across the fixed charge and the valuation charge for all properties.

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