Page 464 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008

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nothing at all after that, no immaterial world you go on to without your body. Now, I still think there’s no other world, but I don’t think the story ends with your death. The story passes on to the other life forms that you nurture with your death, nurturing those who have nurtured you, in a chain of mutual life-giving.

Val’s quest was to make us realise that we are part of nature and we must respect it.


Qantas Australian tourism awards

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.09): I was coming down to talk on another matter but, given Mrs Dunne issued a challenge, it would be remiss of me not to respond. The answer in fact, I am advised, is quite simple and straightforward. My advice is that the AAT, in making its decisions, said that parts of documents could in fact be released and should be released. The documents that Mrs Dunne received were parts of other documents in which the AAT in fact upheld the decision of the department.

It is worth noting that I delegated my powers to the chief executive so as to avoid any question of political decision-making in terms of FOI documents, that the department undertook a thorough process and that Mrs Dunne has received more than 16,000 folios of information. The AAT upheld, I think, 99 per cent of the decisions that were made by the department; they did request a reconsideration of a very small number of folios. That reconsideration was undertaken. I have reported to the Assembly. Mrs Dunne has been provided with portions of particular documents that the AAT deemed not to have coverage by a conclusive certificate. Those documents have been forwarded to Mrs Dunne.

But the real reason I am here in the adjournment debate is to congratulate all the award winners at the 2007 Qantas Australian tourism awards. The awards were held here in Canberra last Friday night at the National Convention Centre. It was a magnificent event, attended by tourism industry leaders: my federal colleague the Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson; a number—I think nearly all but one—of the state and territory tourism ministers; as well as 900 other guests. The awards are open to all tourism businesses and suppliers in the tourism industry and provide the opportunity for public recognition of tourism businesses who achieve excellence.

Whilst congratulating all of the award winners, I particularly like to congratulate the winners from Canberra and the region. Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, took out the tourist attraction category for the second time in three years. A very personal favourite of mine as tourism and education and training minister, the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management took out the tourism education and training category for the second straight year. It is worth noting that, if they win again next year, they will enter the Hall of Fame. Grazing at Gundaroo won the tourism restaurants catering and services category.

I would also like to congratulate the many ACT finalists who, along with the award winners, have shown again the quality of tourism operators in the ACT and the capital region.

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