Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1730 ..

Canberra across the political spectrum and also in the business community. We see it in a range of areas, and we need to collaborate in order to deliver that project and convince the federal government to partner with us to deliver this important piece of infrastructure for our city.

As I touched on in the earlier light rail discussion, light rail will benefit the city from a tourism point of view. I noted Mr Smyth’s snide comment earlier in the debate that people are not going to come to Canberra to catch a train. No, but the image of a city is contained in many facets, and having a light rail system and the easy ability for people to get around gives the sense that this is a modern city that is moving forward. That is part of branding our city as a place that people are interested in going to. My personal experiences of travelling are that these systems make a difference to the visitor experience.

I will be supporting the amendment put forward by Mr Barr today. It is a fair reflection of where the city is at. The approach that Mr Smyth has taken in homing in on our centenary year and trying to ascribe some great failure by government out the other end of it is not an accurate account of where Canberra is going from a tourism point of view. As a city we need to be cognisant of our niche. We are never going to have the same offering as somewhere like the Gold Coast, and that is fine. That is clearly the case, but we have an excellent tourism offering, and there is a range of ways in which we can continue to promote that.

I support government initiatives such as the Enlighten festival, which has been very successful, and the fund that has been put forward to partner with some of the national institutions to draw significant exhibitions to the city. People tend to focus on the National Gallery, but the couple of exhibitions we have at the National Library—the mapping the world exhibition and the forthcoming Chinese exhibition the Chief Minister announced on his recent overseas tour—are equally valuable to our city. I am very optimistic about the future of Canberra’s tourism sector, and for me that is tied to optimism about the future of Canberra.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.30): I thank members for their contributions. It has been a nice debate where different views have been put. I will start with Mr Rattenbury. He talked about my snide remark about the light rail and that it will help people get around. It will help them get up and down; it will go past a couple of hotels. If you had said to me the route you had chosen was airport, Civic, parliamentary triangle, Manuka, and Kingston, which encompasses the bulk of our major tourist attractions, you could actually believe it. When some of the business groups are saying it needs to get to the convention site and up Constitution Avenue, it shows the lack of foresight in what is happening and how you maximise the leverage off such an endeavour. That is part of our opposition to it.

Both members who spoke are quite happy to list events and achievements, and we did have a high in the centenary year. I have said on several occasions that that was a great thing. I note the Chief Minister’s comments that somehow I was tearing it down. I do not think I did that. We said in the lead-up to the centenary that we had to have a plan to capitalise on it and extend the value from it, otherwise it was just a year—and that would be a good thing—and you would not get the full benefit from it. I am not

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video