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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 4001..


MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

hill past the roundabout. The disruption at parking bays has resulted in some coach companies now deleting Federation Square from their stop-off points. In addition, the general road and parking conditions are an obstacle course for private vehicles and pedestrians. Minister, what steps have been taken to ensure that the contractors can complete this project so that this disaster can be ended?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, the information I have is that two-way traffic was operating at that site from 3 December and that all the car parks were opened yesterday.

MR RUGENDYKE: I ask a supplementary question. What about the footpaths and the rest of the shemozzle that has not been completed?

MR SMYTH: I am reliably informed that, to avoid disruption to the Christmas traffic, landscaping will take place after Christmas.

Information Industries Development Board

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I have a question. I will not call those fellows opposite bully boys, because I want them to pay attention.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ask your question.

MR HIRD: I will call them happy boys opposite. Gentlemen, pay attention. My question is also to the Chief Minister. Could the Chief Minister outline the reasons behind the Government's decision to establish a new Information Industry Development Board? How will this new body help to build on the ACT's push to become a major centre for information and advanced technology not only in the region but in Australia?

MR SPEAKER: Order! I trust we are not announcing Executive policy, Chief Minister.

MS CARNELL: No, Mr Speaker. We have announced the new Information Industries Development Board already. Today those opposite show the lack of women on their side, with their incredibly male behaviour. It is just straight testosterone. You need some moderating factors, you guys. You are just acting like little boys. I love little girls as well, but that is okay. Mr Speaker, they cannot cope.

For some time now this Government has been promoting the expansion of our high-technology sector as part of our strategy for diversifying the territory's economy. As members will be aware, under this Government we have encouraged the move away from what was pretty much a total reliance on the Commonwealth public sector for growth and employment. Instead, we have been aggressively marketing Canberra as a centre for local firms to expand, and we have been encouraging interstate and international companies to set up regional headquarters here.

Contrary to claims by those opposite, our focus has not been solely on information technology when developing our industry strategy. In fact, unlike the Labor Party, on this side of the chamber we have an industry strategy, which is a good starting point to get this city going. I am surprised that Mr Hargreaves has not been putting out press releases congratulating the Government on the announcement that Ansett will be


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