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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2016) . . Page.. 47 ..

Tourism—direct international flights

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, with the announcement earlier this month that Singapore Airlines will fly directly to Canberra from Singapore and Wellington, can you outline the economic, tourism and travel benefits for Canberra and the region?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for the question. It gives me great pleasure to be able to outline to the Assembly the benefits from this game-changing decision of Singapore Airlines to fly to our city. It is important for Canberra on many levels and that is why, since 2012 when we announced our plan to bring international flights to Canberra, we have been pursuing this with such vigour over that period up until the recent announcement.

Singapore Airlines have announced, for the benefit of those who missed their announcement, which would not be many people in Canberra, that they will be flying direct both to Singapore and to Wellington, and that delivers on the government’s commitment to establish international flights for our city. This route connects Canberra and Wellington and, of course, Canberra through Singapore onto 390 other destinations around the world.

The ACT government has been leading efforts to secure these flights in conjunction with the Canberra Airport Group. We are delighted that that partnership between the government and the Airport Group and, indeed, a number of other key stakeholders has delivered this outcome.

Independent economic modelling shows that these new flights are worth more than $100 million annually to our economy and will create hundreds of new jobs. Research commissioned by VisitCanberra and undertaken by Independent Economics in December 2013 found that daily services between Singapore and Canberra would generate $88 million per annum in gross regional product for the Canberra catchment and an additional 690 full-time jobs. Similarly, services between New Zealand and Canberra would generate in the order of $51 million in gross regional product for the Canberra catchment and an additional 395 full-time jobs.

VisitCanberra will coordinate the delivery of the marketing partnership programs between Singapore Airlines, Tourism Australia and the Canberra Airport to leverage the significant cooperative marketing opportunities through those international channels. Cooperative marketing campaigns will encourage more leisure and corporate travellers to come to Canberra from New Zealand, from Singapore and, of course, from the hundreds of connecting destinations, including many significant locations in South-East Asia, India, China, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.

So there are clear economic and social benefits for the ACT community as a result of this announcement, most particularly in the time savings and convenience benefits of outbound travel for Canberrans. To make sure we continue to reap the benefits of international flights, a dedicated international aviation group has been established under the Economic Development portfolio. Its focus will be on growth opportunities,

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