Page 3760 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005

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MR QUINLAN: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. Yes, Assembly, this is good news—or bad news if you are a knocker, a doomsayer or a member of the opposition, I suppose. This year’s Floriade has been very successful and has captured the imagination of both locals and visitors alike. Preliminary turnstile figures show that this was probably the record Floriade since its beginning—an increase of about 14,000 over last year, which, on a quick calculation, I guess is about four per cent. The ACT Tourism Commission has engaged a market research firm to do an independent analysis. I expect the full results to be available in December—and I will be very happy to come back and report again.

This year’s Floriade has been unique and I believe a lot of it has to do with the unique and innovative approach that was taken. The rock and roll music theme, the innovation of the Rock ’n’ Roll Trail, the introduction into the festivities of such notable rock figures as Molly Meldrum and Glenn A. Baker—all of these added excitement to the event and attracted people, and people have responded very positively. The Rock ’n’ Roll Trail involved many of the attractions around town, so it took Floriade beyond the boundaries of Floriade: to the War Memorial, the Canberra Centre, the casino, Cockington Green, the National Archives, Old Parliament House, the National Film and Sound Archive, the National Gallery, the National Library, the National Zoo and Aquarium, and Questacon. And all of those organisations involved themselves in the process of Floriade. A Z-card map was made for the Rock ’n’ Roll Trail, of which 50,000 copies were made, and of course it was a bestseller and sold out.

A lot of that success did not just happen by accident. It happened because of the hard work of people associated with Floriade, and I want to recognise the work that was put in, and the coverage that was laid out, whether through metropolitan newspapers being invited to Floriade or the advertising taken in the Australian, the Age, the Brisbane Courier-Mail and the Sunday Mail in Adelaide. All of the attractions and the whole tourism industry in Canberra ought to be congratulated for the effort that they put in.

More than 300 Floriade media kits were distributed widely across Australia to travel, news, gardening and lifestyle media. The Floriade launch took place, way back in July, with Molly Meldrum, who was able to attract interviews from national media outlets—2UE and other radio stations in Sydney, and Triple M in Brisbane. The trade launch involved media, with a Rock ’n’ Roll Trivia Show, hosted by Anthony Ackroyd, again attracting publicity. The Floriade opening included Glenn A. Baker, who also attracted interviews and was interviewed over some 14 media outlets in Sydney, in Brisbane and in Adelaide—effectively across the catchment area that was available to us. Also, of course, Floriade achieved a broad range of local, regional and national media coverage, including on the Better Homes and Gardens show, the Sydney Weekender TV shows and on various national, metropolitan, suburban and regional media outlets.

All in all, what happened was not an accident. As I said, it was the result of a lot of work that was done to ensure that every avenue to promote Floriade this year was taken. Time does not permit me to list all of the outlets that were employed, or where Floriade rated a mention and therefore contributed to knowledge of the event. I look forward to seeing the figures when they come in. I have my fingers crossed that the number of interstate and international visitors increased as well. The bar is now higher, and it will be that

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