Page 1341 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

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Community Services’ data and research area. The survey found that almost all of those interviewed, 94 per cent, were either satisfied or very satisfied with the Multicultural Festival overall. This is an outstanding result, and I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the festival for putting together such a fantastic program. In addition, of spectators at the 2011 festival, 78 per cent said they were likely or very likely to attend again next year and 93 per cent would recommend the festival to a friend.

As some of you may be aware, there were some new inclusions at this year’s festival. Chief among them was the addition of the Indigenous showcase in Civic Square, which was organised by the NAIDOC Week Committee and included attractions such as the acclaimed singer Troy Cassar-Daley and the Indigenous chef Mark Olive and a host of other performances.

Another success was the addition of extra food stalls on the Sunday. While the Saturday food and dance spectacular remained the main attraction over the three days, the attendance on the Sunday this year well and truly exceeded last year’s Sunday crowd, and I expect that word of mouth will ensure that it is bigger again next year.

The survey found that, for seven out of 10 spectators, food and drinks were identified as the thing liked most about the festival. The dancing, performances and entertainment generally were identified as things liked by 24 per cent of the spectators. Spectators also said they liked the opportunity the festival provided to meet friends and bring people together and as an event for all people of all ages. The festival atmosphere received a high satisfaction rating, with 96 per cent satisfied or very satisfied with this aspect of the festival.

My department is still finalising its crowd estimates over the three days, which is difficult for an event that has such a large footprint and, unlike Floriade, did not have entrance gate numbers. While the ACT police put the crowd attendance at over 200,000—they have put it at 240,000—over the three days, that does sound optimistic and a large crowd, so we do need to go back to that. But, as someone who was at the festival over the three days, I can say that it was indeed bustling with people and all of them having a great day and enjoying our multicultural community.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. Minister, have you received any indication of how many interstate visitors attended the festival?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his interest. The survey does provide an indication of the number of interstate visitors to the festival. This was measured by a collection of postcodes by vendors and by the spectator survey. This found that 15 per cent of the spectators were from interstate or overseas and, of these, four per cent were from the local Queanbeyan area. Also, over one half of interstate and overseas spectators knew about the festival before their visit. Of these, the festival was a main factor in their decision to visit for 26 per cent, which is a great boost for our hotels, our retailers and our hospitality industry.

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