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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 6 March 2008) . . Page.. 628 ..

MR STANHOPE: I will not do it, Mr Speaker. I have just referred to the Canberra Times. It is quite explicit. What I will do is table a press release from Mr Steve Pratt on behalf of the Liberal Party in which he said that the Liberal Party would close schools.

Tourism—autumn events

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation. Can the minister outline the events which will occur during autumn to attract tourists to the ACT and which add to the cultural life of Canberra?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question. Can I say at the outset that we on this side of the chamber recognise the value of events to Canberra, not just in economic terms but also in adding to the vibrant cultural life of our city.

Tourism operators in the ACT and the many thousands of Canberrans that they employ are world class and are innovative. They are excellent at combining their own offering with the beauty of Canberra’s natural and built surrounds to provide a fantastic tourism events offering for each of Canberra’s four seasons. The Stanhope government is very pleased to continue to support the diverse range of events that occur as part of Canberra’s tourism and events calendar.

The question is about events coming in the next few months. I am very pleased to say that, again, we have a huge line-up of events for Canberra in autumn. Beginning this weekend, the people of Canberra and many visitors will start to celebrate the city’s 95th birthday. The Celebrate Canberra Festival runs from 8 to 16 March and will feature over 30 events. The festival is also an important opportunity to build on momentum as we move towards the city’s centenary in 2013.

As part of the festival, Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park will again be the scene of the flagship event, Celebrate in the Park. This is made possible by the ongoing support of ACTTAB. The schedule delivers a seven-hour concert, featuring a range of acts which, Mr Speaker, I am sure you and all Assembly members will enjoy. For those who are interested in a bit of motown, Human Nature’s motown show will be coming to town. Canberra favourite Ricki-Lee will also perform. For those of us who are into great 70s and 80s Australian rock, rock legends Mental as Anything will also be performing, together with a range of great local bands. The big top will provide entertainment for kids, with a cast of many from Playschool. I did have the great pleasure of meeting Fifi from Fifi and Bumble fame at the launch of the Celebrate Canberra event earlier this week.

The festival kicks off on Saturday with Indyfest 08, the ACT’s independent music festival. A range of family activities will also be occurring, including a free screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Garema Place. For Harry Potter fans, there is something there for you.

Canberra Day activities include Australian Defence Force displays and marches through the city, up to 1,000 riders pedalling past Canberra’s most iconic spaces and the Albert Hall’s 80th birthday celebrations.

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