Page 3662 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 13 September 2017
territory. If we cannot get the basics rights at home first, hosting a world-class event without any substance behind it becomes all the more challenging.
Let us take a look at our very own Oktoberfest, a home-grown event that has sadly been forced across the border simply because it is easier and cheaper to operate an event of that scale such as Oktoberfest in New South Wales. Whilst this event might not be considered “major” in the terms of this report, it certainly plays a part as one of the supporting events. It would certainly have the potential to grow into a major drawcard if we were able to allow it to do so.
The Harmonie German Club, who have hosted this event for many years, have said that the fees and charges required by the current government to operate such an event have, in their words, “got out of hand”. The increases in charges for the weekend use of Exhibition Park alone had increased from a total of $6,000 in 2011 up to almost $20,000 in 2016, more than a three times increase in just five years. And we thought we had it bad on rates!
Add to this the increase in costs for a police presence and liquor licensing, the cost burden for the club easily rises rapidly to over $40,000. The big winner in all of this is the city of Queanbeyan, just over the border. Having spoken to the state member, and deputy premier, over there, Mr Barilaro, I add that he is all too happy to see a continuation of this government’s policy towards events. And need I mention what a likely outcome for the ACT greyhound racing industry may well be?
Let us not forget also that it was the Labor Party, upon coming to government, that axed one of the most important, prominent events that the territory hosted, or once hosted, in terms of exposure. That, of course, was the GMC 400. The V8 supercar event is a major event hosted not just in Australia but also internationally. It is hosted by capital cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Darwin and also regional centres such as Newcastle, Ipswich and Townsville. It is an event that brings great prominence and great publicity not just for the city domestically but also internationally through its TV reach and audiences. The benefit of an event with such global exposure should be considered—
Mr Barr: The locals hated it and no-one turned up, and it was massively over budget. That was the problem.
MR WALL: The Chief Minister interjects and says that locals hated it and no-one turned up. I can remember as a kid spending my freezing weekends out there.
Ms Berry: I did.
MR WALL: And it is good to hear Ms Stephen-Smith also saying—
Ms Stephen-Smith: No, I did not say that.
MR WALL: Who was it, then—Ms Berry?
Ms Berry: I said that I am afraid I did go to one—