Page 3261 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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In addition, in just under a month, the Australian and New Zealand netball teams will meet at the AIS arena as part of our centenary celebrations. This match will be broadcast nationally and throughout New Zealand. Tickets went on sale on 19 July and sold out in 12 minutes. Due to the demand, the ACT government, in partnership with Netball Australia, will be hosting a live site adjacent to the AIS arena for an additional 3,300 fans. Tickets for the live site are now on sale through Ticketek. The hosting of an event of this magnitude provides a unique opportunity for both Canberra and Netball Australia to leverage the event on a national and international scale.

These are just two examples of the events coming up that have been supported by the ACT government. I also recently announced a further partnership with the National Gallery of Australia for their blockbuster summer exhibition.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, what infrastructure planning is the government doing to support the growing tourism sector?

MR BARR: The government is continuing to invest in world-class infrastructure in the city. The Chief Minister has recently outlined a number of key projects that will certainly assist in developing that world-class infrastructure. It is not only of benefit to Canberrans; it also helps bring more tourists to the territory.

The government is committed, as part of our parliamentary agreement with the Greens party, to bring the Australia Forum to investment-ready status during the 2013-14 fiscal year. The Economic Development Directorate is holding a workshop later this week with industry experts and key stakeholders, including the Canberra Business Council and the Canberra Convention Bureau. The workshop will review and confirm the functional requirements for the Australia Forum and identify the requirements to bring the project to investment-ready status, including options for funding and delivery.

In addition, I can advise that significant work is underway at Manuka Oval, as we speak, to increase the seating capacity and improve the playing surface and spectator amenity. I can update the Assembly that this work is progressing well and is due to be completed in time for the Prime Minister’s XI match in January. The work is being undertaken to meet the growing demands of AFL and, importantly, to prepare Manuka Oval for its role as part of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, which will be held in the first quarter of 2015. Combined with the Asian football cup, it will indeed be a strong economic driver for the territory in 2015.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Why is it important that the government continue to invest in tourism?

MR BARR: The tourism sector contributes $1.65 billion to the territory economy and is one of our largest private sector employers, employing nearly 16,000 people. The

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