Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 30 November 2017) . . Page.. 5407 ..
MR BARR: A very significant impact. It was certainly very clear at the Canberra and region tourism awards held earlier in the month just how much optimism there is in Canberra’s tourism sector. Clearly there is an extraordinary opportunity in 2018 for the tourism industry. We have seen over the past few years the number of hotel rooms in this city rise from about 5,000 to 7,000, and there are another 1,000 additional rooms coming on line in the coming years. Our hotel occupancy rates have remained above the Australian average. We are seeing an all-time record number of both domestic and international tourists in our city. We are well on track to achieving our tourism 2020 target of growing overnight visitor expenditure to $2.5 billion by December 2020. It was over $2 billion in the 2016-17 fiscal year. We are experiencing a tourism boom and we look forward to building on that success in 2018.
MS CODY: Chief Minister, what will be the benefits for the broader Canberra economy?
MR BARR: In addition to this recognition of Canberra as a place to visit, it does, of course, come on top of a range of other accolades for our city, such as recognition by the OECD as the world’s most livable city, and a range of recent and significant investments in the ACT in many different areas of the economy.
Innovation and creativity are at the heart of the transition in the ACT economy. We have nearly 14½ thousand international students studying in Canberra. Our work with UNSW Canberra will see that number expand considerably. Education, higher education in particular, is our city’s single largest export.
This is a very timely announcement from Lonely Planet. It certainly has been utilised by our universities as further evidence of Canberra’s international reputation. We boast innovative companies; we have a diverse workforce; we have world-leading universities; we have cutting-edge research institutions; and we are home to the Australian headquarters of many multinational corporations.
This accolade helps attract further investment and certainly enhances the story of Canberra when we tell it nationally and internationally. We look forward in 2018 to further opportunities to promote our city.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing—briefing
MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Over the past year there have been at least six occasions when you have claimed that you have either not been briefed or evidence indicates that you have not been briefed for several weeks, as was the case with the centenary hospital cladding. These occasions include health data, the AECOM report and the overdue report on opioid guidelines as well as the cladding on the centenary hospital. Minister, why is it that you claim not to have been briefed on important issues?
MS FITZHARRIS: I do not make that claim.