The Hon. J. HATZISTERGOS: My question is to the Treasurer, and Minister for State Development. Will the Treasurer give the House details of the Government's Olympic business campaign?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I am pleased to tell the House that last Friday, in the company of the parliamentary press gallery—I think a full attendance of the parliamentary press gallery—I launched one of the most ambitious promotional campaigns ever undertaken by the State Government. The campaign, which is designed to win new investment and create jobs, will promote New South Wales to the thousands of business people who will be here for the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics. This campaign is an important part of the Government's post-2000 jobs plan. The Olympics provides us with a one-off chance to capture the attention of the world's business community. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. The campaign, which is titled "Sydney and New South Wales work better for business" will brand Sydney and the State as the first choice for business in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 5,000 international invitations have been issued to around 100 business events, some to be co-hosted with major Australian and international companies.
Events include daily economic and business briefings, international corporate promotions and the showcasing of our great regional produce from areas across New South Wales. The advertising campaign in the local media and on CNN will promote the strengths of the State's work force, its information technology infrastructure, strong economy and growing multinational business community. The campaign will also include business features on Sydney in the Wall Street Journal and London's Financial Times in the lead-up to the Games. We will also be running advertising on inbound Ansett, Qantas and United Airlines flights. Anyone coming to Sydney for the Olympics on an Ansett, Qantas or United Airlines flight will see our advertisement on the plane before arriving in Sydney.
The Hon. Patricia Forsythe: Is your cheery face on the video?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: No, but it is a fantastic video. Members of the press gallery agreed it is an exciting video.
The Hon. Patricia Forsythe: You should put it on your monitor and we can look at it on our monitors.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I will do that. The video we have is a Betacam video, which the television stations apparently use. I am not sure whether the video system here is Betacam or something else.
The Hon. Patricia Forsythe: The television stations can transfer it.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: We will see what we can do. It is a stunning video. As you can imagine, it is difficult to convey a message in a couple of minutes of video, but I think this one does a superb job and you will be interested to see it. That video will be running on all inbound Ansett, Qantas and United Airlines flights, and to help us promote New South Wales we have brought together a number of international companies. These companies include Nortel Networks, Citigroup, Oracle Corporation, BAE, Looksmart, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Lucent Technologies, Dow Jones Indexes, Deutsche Bank, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, First Data, AOL, Vodafone and Stay Street, to name a few. I am grateful to all these companies, which are helping us to promote the benefits of doing business in New South Wales.
In addition to the assistance being given by these companies, many chambers of commerce, both international and regional, will use our facilities to undertake promotions during the Olympics. "A Taste of New South Wales" is a promotion that will be held on a number of occasions. It will feature the food and wines of New South Wales. A number of regional development boards and councils throughout New South Wales will participate in the promotion. I certainly hope that these promotions will encourage international business people who are here for the Games to take a close look at what New South Wales has to offer.
In addition to that specific targeted campaign, I am told that between six billion and eight billion people—a number that it is beyond my capacity to comprehend—will be watching the Olympics, and they will see Sydney over that two-week period. In many cases those people will be forming their first impression of Sydney and Australia. I have absolutely no doubt that that impression will be extremely favourable and, like most first impressions, will stay with them for the rest of their lives. That means that for decades and generations to come the people of New South Wales will benefit from the Sydney Olympics. By staging an Olympic Games that I believe will not only be the best the world has seen but, as I have said before, the best the world will ever see, we will be putting the badge of quality on our produce, products, services and ideas and on Australia as an investment location.
The Hon. J. H. Jobling: Following from our concept of bid for the Games.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: That is why as an Opposition the Labor Party supported the bid when it was launched by the Greiner Government. That is why we were over the moon when the bid was successful when John Fahey was Premier. Of course, things have gone on since then. It has been Bob Carr's Government, with Michael Knight as the Minister, that has had to build all the venues. I have been the one who has had to find all the money—and I have done it! Every single cent has been paid, and it is a pretty good investment.
The Hon. D. J. Gay: Rubbish!
Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile: Wait until you see all the tickets.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile conducted an inquiry as result of a resolution of this House. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition was a member of the committee that conducted that inquiry. I forget the other members of the Opposition who were on that committee, but they were running around telling the media, "It's not Michael Knight we are after, it's Egan we are after." When I heard this I only had three days of work left because I was going on holidays. I said to my officers, "Clear my diary of appointments because I am about to be called by the upper House standing committee." I waited for three days and they did not even call me because they knew they would be humiliated if they did. Next time they go around the press gallery saying, "We're going to get Egan", they should at least do me the courtesy of calling me to give evidence. I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. It was the very bad way to start a holiday.
Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile: I tried to get them to agree.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile tried to get them to invite me to give evidence and they would not be in it. What a funny lot!