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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 March 2015) . . Page.. 1147 ..

MR BARR: At 250,000 people, its growth trajectory is faster than Floriade.

Mr Coe: How many years old?

MR BARR: It is about five years old, and it has now achieved a level of attendance and community engagement at a point where it will rival Floriade. I note that throughout this process it has been opposed by the shadow treasurer and tourism minister. That is disappointing, but there you go.

The opening weekend of Enlighten saw crowds in excess of 90,000 attending the events. The total attendance of 83,000 in 2014 was exceeded on the opening weekend. In isolation, the Night Noodle Markets attracted an attendance of over 156,000 during their 10 days of operations.

On the weekend before last the government partnered with another new addition to Canberra’s events scene—the Westside Acton Park—to deliver one of the city’s most significant art festivals, Art, Not Apart. It is also in its fifth year and it delivered the largest and most successful festival to date. Around 18,000 people are estimated to have attended the single-day event, viewing 200 artists across 24 sites during the six-hour period of the festival. The success of this festival and the collaboration between the government and local businesses signal a very promising future for that Acton Park precinct as part of the city to the lake development.

The significance of the city to the lake precinct in actively engaging and leveraging our city’s emerging reputation as a centre for creativity and innovation, a diverse and successful arts and cultural scene, our multicultural heritage and our national significance give us the opportunity to showcase west basin as a new focal point for contemporary cultural activities and community gatherings.

I am pleased Ms Fitzharris has raised the issue of Access Canberra, and it has obviously excited the shadow treasurer so much he must have missed the last three months of very positive feedback. The government, through this initiative, is ensuring that organisers who want to hold events are given the appropriate level of government support to secure all the necessary approvals. Access Canberra provides a single point of contact for event organisers, ensuring a whole-of-government approach.

As a city, we are consistently proving our readiness to leverage event opportunities and showcase our world-class hosting capacity. The ACT government are committed to deliver, fund and assist quality events in Canberra because we recognise the substantial contribution that these events make to our economy and to our community.

It is certainly appropriate to reflect upon a very successful start to the 2015 events calendar. A number of the events that have taken the leap to the next level were, in fact, started in the centenary year. The You Are Here festival is an example I would like to highlight. Together with the Comedy Festival and a number of other smaller events, they have in the last two or three years grown significantly and been very well embraced by the Canberra community. There are many successful legacies from the centenary year, including on the infrastructure side. I highlight the lights at Manuka

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