Page 5406 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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frequent light rail—around about six minutes—and outside of those times just a little decreased frequency. So the purpose of NXTBUS, in terms of real-time information, is probably less relevant to light rail; which, again, is one of the benefits of light rail that we will see when it starts operating here in the ACT.

MR COE: Minister, what is the status of the redesign of the local bus network following the introduction of light rail and the possible use of NXTBUS on that?

MS FITZHARRIS: There may be three or four questions in that. I am pleased to advise Mr Coe that currently there is consultation underway on how Canberrans would like to link into our rapid transport network. There will be nine rapid transport services. The consultation at the moment is how Canberrans would like to feed in to the nine rapid transport routes that will be operating next year. Eight of those will be buses, one of those will be light rail.

As I have said, once this current phase of consultation is complete we will take the community’s feedback and go out for further consultation in early 2018 with that feedback already received about how local bus services will then feed in to the rapid network. That, of course, will include light rail.

Tourism—future strategy

MS ORR: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what action is the government taking to attract more visitors to Canberra in 2018, off the back of the recent announcement by Lonely Planet?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. We certainly seek to take full advantage of our city receiving this very significant tourism accolade. Following on from the success of the announcement, we are fully focused on implementing a range of marketing activities in both domestic and international markets to raise awareness of Canberra and to encourage more people to visit our city.

This news was globally significant and VisitCanberra is collaborating with Tourism Australia on an ongoing public relations strategy targeting our key international markets: China, Singapore, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. During the most recent Canberra week in Wellington, I met with a range of key stakeholders in the tourism industry, including New Zealand’s new tourism minister, Air New Zealand, and Wellington City Council and their tourism folk.

We look to continue to expand opportunities for direct transfer into Canberra. Qatar Airways begin their service in February next year. We will continue our engagement with Air New Zealand and the Australian airlines to get more direct domestic, low-cost and international flights into Canberra. We will, of course, continue to work with Singapore Airlines to raise awareness of their capital express service, with a medium-term goal to see that service’s frequency increase from the current four times a week.

MS ORR: Chief Minister, what impact will this have on the Canberra tourism industry?

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