Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2223 ..
promised. Mr Hargreaves kept saying that there was money but it had never actually been appropriated, and I am glad to see it appropriated. I want to see sound work at the Albert Hall to ensure the long-term survival of the fabric of the building. In addition, it is not just about the building and the building fabric. We have to also address how the Albert Hall fits into the community, how the community will be able to use the Albert Hall into the future as an important public building and how it will continue to be value for the important public building that it is.
As always, the TAMS budget is a bit of a curate’s egg. There are some good bits; there is a long way to go in a lot of areas. There is a fair amount of gloss in the sustainability areas, and I think that the Stanhope government has a lot to do before it can really build up its sustainability credentials.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.23): It is a pleasure to speak to this line item because it contains two of my favourite portfolios, tourism and sport and recreation. But before I get to them, I think it is important to put on the record what I describe as Mr Hargreaves’s litany of failure in the territory and municipal services part of the budget.
I would just like to recite a few words and people can draw their own conclusions: Tharwa bridge, road funding, Gungahlin Drive extension, Griffith library, the busway, ACTION timetables, security at bus interchanges, rock throwing at buses, the Grassby statue, insult to Vietnam veterans, FireLink, the ESA headquarters move to Fairbairn, housing, the Revolve kerfuffle, graffiti, taxis, NOWaste by 2010 and shopfront closures. One could probably give an all-day speech on those failures that the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services has presided over, but I will concentrate on Mr Barr instead.
Contained in this budget line because of the administrative arrangements that the Chief Minister has put in place are two very important items: the tourism and sport and recreation budgets. And both need to be addressed. Given that we are approaching 12.30, I will do as best I can before lunch. In relation to the tourism budget, when you go to the press releases, it is actually very hard to find. It is No 24, I think, out of 25 press releases before we get to tourism. To find any description of what is happening in the tourism budget, there are three small paragraphs at the end of the press release. I think it is an indication of the importance that the government puts on tourism that it is hidden and it really is not a budget that addresses the needs of the tourism community today and into the future.
Tourism is looking more and more like a major disaster area for the ACT and for this government. We only saw the statistics last week and the reaction this week from the community that showed quite clearly things are not well. Firstly, we had the savage and unnecessary cuts by the Stanhope government in 2006, presided over by this minister. And the logic was: it was because the national institutions have their own marketing and promotions budget; there is duplication; and she’ll be right.
We know all about the rationale for that decision. That was apparent from the quotes that were released from the Costello report that found that marketing constituted 29 per cent of the expenditure by Australian Capital Tourism. It is on page 31 of the