Page 1731 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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

convinced we have. The government has not been able to produce any assessment to say there is a change in the perception of Canberra. Indeed, the TRA’s document from August 2014 indicates that, for all the endeavour—most of it excellent; I could argue at the perimeter on the things like the Skywhale and some of the events—we did not capitalise on it. Did people come and enjoy themselves? Yes, they did. Did we capitalise on that? I do not think so.

Some of the recent numbers from the TRA indicate significant downturn. The peak year still seems to be about 2003. I am not sure we are back to the 2003 numbers yet. For that period—2003 to 2014—the Labor Party have been in control and the numbers have declined or not grown in real terms. They must accept responsibility for that. When I suggest, as I do in the motion, that the minister tell us what the government will to do to restore tourism sector confidence, it is a genuine endeavour to say, “Let’s work out how we capitalise on what we all know to be the excellent assets of the ACT.”

Mr Rattenbury finished with a reference to the Gold Coast. He is right; we are not the Gold Coast, and that is great. If I want to go to the Gold Coast, I will go to the Gold Coast. If I want to go to New York, I will go to New York. I want people to come to Canberra because it is Canberra. It is the home of the Australian story. Our treasures are here. Our memories are here. Our places of pilgrimage are here. With that in mind, I commend Brendan Nelson and the commonwealth government for the excellent work they have done in refurbishing the World War I gallery. It is sensational. The Australian War Memorial is the number one building of its kind in the world—I do not believe anybody would dispute that—in its sensitivity, in its telling of the story, its preservation, its memorialisation and its honouring of more than 100,000 Australians who gave their lives. It is excellent. We need to capitalise on that to make sure our own people, our own children, know their story and their history and we use it to mark our place in the world. We can do that through our art and culture. Art and culture are very important as part of the cycle of future economic development, part of Toffler’s third wave—agriculture, industry, intelligence.

We have an ability to capitalise on that, if we have a plan to do so and the courage to do so. We can ask others to do it for us or we can do it ourselves. That is the point of this motion. If you look honestly at the numbers, yes, there were big numbers in the centenary year. There was always going to be a bump, but it was about minimising the decline and having a plan to make sure you capitalise on it. Have the tourism body done some smart things? Yes, they have. Have they won some awards? Yes, they have. I acknowledge that, and well done to them, as we have said before. But what we did not do is capitalise. What we did not do is take full advantage of the opportunities the centenary year presented.

The Chief Minister says I am tearing everything down. He says how well he is doing; he has got the region to accept the CBR logo. That is after more than a decade of ignoring the region. Many of the mayors, when they came and saw us in the regional development inquiry, said, “At least Kate Carnell kept her word. She’d ring; she’d talk to us. She’d find out what we wanted. If Jon Stanhope or if the ACT Labor government bothered to even talk to us it was to tell us what we were doing wrong. They didn’t listen.”

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