Page 4741 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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MR STANHOPE: To conclude: as I said, the advice—

Mrs Burke: You have been embarrassed into giving an answer

MR STANHOPE: No. I am happy to say the advice was prepared by the Office of Sustainability, an office that I trusted. The action officer who investigated and prepared—

Mr Smyth: His time has expired. He can make a statement after question time.

MR SPEAKER: I have already called Ms Porter. If you want to seek leave to make a statement after question time, I am sure the Assembly will give you leave.

MR STANHOPE: I make the point that the advice the government relied on was prepared by Mr Gordon McAllister, a trusted officer of the department.

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat.


MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Tourism. Minister, last Friday the latest domestic tourism statistics were announced, showing that ACT tourism had recovered from the effects of the introduction of Jetstar last year. To what do you attribute the strong rebound in tourism numbers?

Mr Mulcahy: His brilliance, no doubt.

Mrs Dunne: His brilliant personality, obviously.

MR QUINLAN: If you get sick of me bringing this good news into the place, I will see if I can find some dark news for you.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan, please direct your comments through the chair—and members of the opposition will cease interjecting. It is hard for me to hear what it is that you object to by way of points of order.

MR QUINLAN: The latest national visitor centre service results indicate a 34 per cent increase in the number of domestic overnight visitors to the ACT for the September quarter of 2005 compared to the September quarter of 2004. The increase reflects a recovery from the low-cost airline impacts in the September quarter of 2004, when visitor numbers declined by something like 22 per cent. The recovery has been particularly strong from the regional New South Wales market, which has increased by over 100 per cent, contributing to an overall increase of 54 per cent of the total New South Wales market for the September quarter of 2005 compared with 2004.

Overall, an increase of 4.1 per cent in domestic overnight visitors to the ACT was recorded for the year ending September 2005 compared to 2004, against a national decline of 5.3 per cent. Interestingly, the record Floriade numbers account for only part of this strong September figure, as Floriade straddles the September and December

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