Page 2956 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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Clearly, when I do so, I will be accused by those opposite of media spin. I take that as an acknowledgement that I am doing my job well. If I am upsetting the opposition party so much in relation to the level of media coverage that I am generating in my portfolios, then that must mean I am doing my job well. Again, I commend my office for a sterling job in relation to promoting these portfolios within government and within the broader community.

It is important that we continue to invest in our tourism sector, with $1.3 billion worth of economic activity generated and around 13,000 jobs. That is why the government is investing significantly in front-line delivery, particularly around a new event and particularly around domestic marketing. We believe that is where the priority in new investment and tourism should be, not in re-establishing statutory authorities and not in investing in more ministerial support and administration. We believe we should be putting our extra money in tourism into the front line, into domestic marketing and into events. That is a key element of this year’s budget. I thank members for their comments in relation to tourism, sport and recreation. I refer them to the government’s response to the recommendations of the estimates committee report.

Mr Speaker, you asked a specific question in your first contribution in relation to the Brumbies. I can advise that the three different elements of the Brumbies support package relate to a one-off top-up of their performance agreement. That is the $300,000 that you referred to in your comments. There is a repayable loan of $170,000, and then a further exemption on payroll tax that was $250,000 has been increased to $500,000. Of course, with the performance agreements for the Raiders and the Brumbies expiring at the end 2009, we will continue our negotiations with both organisations around finding a new arrangement.

Finally, on EPIC, I will certainly seek to make a ministerial statement in the next sittings in relation to the future of that organisation.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (12.05): I just wish to formally acknowledge the contribution of the estimates committee and members in the debate on TAMS. The government finds itself able to agree on a significant number of issues that are raised in the estimates report. Some recommendations are quite good sense and raise issues that the government is more than happy to respond to. Some issues have been raised where we do not agree. Those are issues that have been agitated long and often in this place on aspects of ACTION and some other aspects of ACT government operations in relation to Territory and Municipal Services.

I do not feel the need, beyond the response which the government makes and the response to the estimates report, to re-agitate those today. I simply rise today to acknowledge the contribution of members to this particular debate and to thank them for that contribution. I acknowledge that some recommendations are quite good sense, are quite reasonably made and are accepted by the government. On others, it would not be a surprise to anybody in this place that the government does not see eye to eye

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