Page 465 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008

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It was a great honour for Canberra to be able to host this year’s event and to welcome Australia’s best tourism operators to Australia’s best tourism destination. Hosting the 2007 tourism awards did provide the local tourism industry with a great opportunity to showcase the national capital to a national tourism and travel audience.

I commend all of the entrants who have worked so hard this year in entering the award. The awards process is very challenging, but it does provide many benefits to those who participate.

A particular thank you to all of the staff members at Australian Capital Tourism who have worked very hard over a 12-month period to ensure that Canberra put on a magnificent event that exceeded expectations and, I think, has set a benchmark for future years. In particular, I would like to express appreciation for the admirable work done by the general manager of Australian Capital Tourism, Simonne Shepherd; Jonathan Kobus, product and industry development manager; Susie Dunn, programs coordinator in the horticulture area; and Lauren Griffiths, public relations and media executive in Australian Capital Tourism. They did an outstanding job.

I am sure that all those who attended had a fantastic time. The $30 million upgrade to the Convention Centre was shown off in a most magnificent way. It was a fantastic event—much, much, much better, I have to say, than the show Sydney put on last year—and we did Canberra proud. It was a great event for tourism in Canberra, and we will continue to build on this in furthering our tourism industry.

Qantas Australian tourism awards

ACTION bus service—timetable

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.13): Yes, the minister and I finally have something that we agree on: it was a fabulous night. I think one of the great aspects of the upgrade of the Convention Centre is in fact the full screens that occupy the windows of the northern wall of the exhibition hall. To see so many of the national capital’s major attractions up there in all their glory was incredibly impressive. I understand those screens were actually made by a local firm; so well done to that firm as well. I think they proved themselves to be a winner. Indeed, having started my public service career in Questacon as their shop manager, I am very pleased to see Questacon pick up an award. Well done to CIT and Grazing. I have used both their services.

Yesterday Mr Pratt and I were presented with a petition that was tabled today by Mr Corbell, signed by over 300 users of the 769 and 768 bus services, asking him that their bus service not be cancelled as a result of Mr Hargreaves’s ironically named “building a better bus service” plan. The majority of these signatories live in Chisholm and Gilmore, with others being from Richardson, Calwell, Theodore and Isabella Plains.

The 769 bus only makes six trips a day. It runs three services from Theodore to the city in the morning, and three services from the city out to Theodore in the evening. It starts at City West, going on to the city interchange, then through to the Russell Offices, then down the Monaro Highway to Chisholm, Gilmore and through to the terminus at Theodore, making various stops along the way.

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