Page 5283 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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initiatives will be implemented in next year’s festival. These include expanding the footprint of the festival to provide more open spaces and create better pedestrian flow. As part of this, London Circuit will be fully utilised for the 2012 event. Stalls are being positioned further away from the main stage so that there will be better access to stalls while performances are underway.

The Multicultural Women’s Advocacy, in conjunction with the OMA, is looking to run enhanced children’s activities and is also working with ACTION to design a parking plan to improve accessibility to the festival site. The Multicultural Festival team is working closely with other directorates such as the Office for Ageing and the Office for Women to ensure a bigger sanctuary space which will include a children’s program. It is also proposed to have a pram parking space and all-day activities and entertainment programs aimed at the children. I am confident that these new initiatives will enhance the festival for Canberra families.

Ms Gallagher: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Rostered ministers question time

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation

Convention centre—evaluation

MR SMYTH: What actions are the ACT and federal government taking to facilitate the next stage of the evaluation of a new convention centre in Canberra?

MR BARR: Mr Smyth would be aware that the 2011-12 budget made provision for $1 million in capital expenditure to support further investigations of the identified or preferred site for the Australia Forum project in West Basin. An inter-directorate committee has been established which will consult with representatives of the ACT business community who have brought the Australia Forum proposal to this stage. The federal government are assisting through the National Capital Authority and have made available to the territory government a vast array of information based on their own studies around the precinct.

MR SMYTH: Minister, do you stand by your statement that it is unlikely that anything will happen for about a decade in regard to the future of the Australia Forum?

MR BARR: It would appear that if federal government funding is being sought to underpin the project, then, given the stated commitment of the commonwealth government to return the budget to surplus and their current exercise of spending restraint, it is unlikely that the federal government will be providing funding for the project in the foreseeable future. Given the construction time frame of a project of that scale, I believe my statement is an accurate one.

Sportsgrounds—couch grass

MR SESELJA: Minister, last year you announced that “where possible we are converting sportsgrounds to couch grass, which provides water savings of up to

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