Wonderland Sydney Closure
|About this Item||Subjects||Amusement Parks and Amusement Parlours; Personal Injury Compensation; Insurance
||Speakers||Nori Ms Sandra; Armstrong Mr Ian
Ms SANDRA NORI (Port Jackson—Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Women) [2.23 p.m.]: As all members would be aware, yesterday Wonderland Sydney took a commercial decision to close its doors on 26 April this year, after the Anzac Day long weekend. Wonderland Sydney employs 130 permanent staff and 270 casuals, and has undertaken that all entitlements will be met and all possible assistance will be given to staff in gaining future employment. It also has a wildlife park housing 700 native animals, which will be distributed to other parks around Australia during the coming six months.
Tourism New South Wales has worked closely with Wonderland Sydney in promoting the attraction both in Australia and overseas. However, parks such as these are always a challenging venture, and changing demands will always add to those challenges. Yesterday I had my office contact Luna Park Sydney, which will be opening shortly, to gauge its interest in favourably considering former Wonderland employees to staff Luna Park. I am told that Luna Park Sydney would welcome Wonderland staff applying for positions, and would look favourably on their applications as clearly they have the skills required to run a park. I congratulate Luna Park Sydney's management on its swift and favourable response to the Government's request, and I wish the management of Luna Park and the soon-to-be-hired staff all the best in creating another great Sydney attraction.
Mr IAN ARMSTRONG (Lachlan) [2.24 p.m.]: I noted in a story in one of the major papers this morning that Wonderland Sydney is closing. It is significant that this is another failure of entertainment facilities in this city. In recent years Old Sydney Town at Somersby has closed, and we know what happened to the Lipizzaner horses at Narellan. How many water slides in Sydney and in New South Wales have closed in recent times? What has happened to horse riding facilities, riding schools and pony clubs in the metropolitan area and throughout regional New South Wales? What has happened to cycling races? What has happened to water skiing facilities in Sydney? And where is the Government on public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance is the major reason that Wonderland Sydney is closing. If Wonderland's public liability insurance had been a realistic figure, it would not be closing. How can the wonderful resorts in California and in Paris continue for 50 or 60 years when these sorts of facilities fall over in Sydney? If we are to attract national and international tourists to Sydney and New South Wales the Government needs to recognise that it must approve and maintain such facilities, instead of seeing them fall off the edge. Insurance is the problem, and the Government is not addressing it.