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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 494..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

This government wants to avoid, if possible, the phenomenon that was called the "glee club" process that grew under Ms Carnell where anybody she knew or worked with was therefore on her team and anybody else was excluded from it. I did not like that sort of our side/your side approach that seemed to be taken. But I have to say that, since taking up the duties of Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, I have taken the opportunity to visit as many as possible companies and institutions involved in development in the ACT, and of course many of those are involved in high tech, in IT.

I feel like a kid in a lolly shop a lot of the time. There are some amazing things happening in this territory. There are some people with great initiative. I have been privileged to have seen many demonstrations of the products that are being developed in the ACT, and to be associated with progressing them. Only a couple of months ago I endorsed a mission to Hainan Island in China. We met the members of that mission after they arrived back and they indicated that there were great prospects and that benefit would arise from government support. That sort of support will continue.

I think we were fairly clear before the election as to the structures we wanted to put in place-the knowledge-based economy board, the knowledge bank. As I said, many of the people who have worked for the ACT will continue to do so. For them the change of government has been fairly seamless and, I suppose, in the main not all that relevant. What they are interested in is progress. I was privileged to open the office of a young couple who produce software, and they are selling on the worldwide market. We were encouraged to do so by Mr Hoff, even though they were ostensibly competitors.

There is within Canberra industry and Canberra business a very strong spirit of mutual cooperation where the business people in Canberra see themself as a team. When I was in opposition I spent a good deal of my time making sure that I did interact with the business community, and I feel that I am on pretty good terms with pretty well all the players in Canberra. I have a fair idea what they are doing and they have got a fair idea where this government is coming from.

I expect that, as I said, many of the people who contributed to the developments through boards in the past will continue to do so. There will be some change in the faces. We would like to broaden our approach to IT, and that is why we talk about a knowledge-based economy board. We want to see business, government and academe work together and, therefore, those structures will be different from the structures that existed before. I think the structures will be broader, more embracing and possibly more effective.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Gungahlin Drive extension

MR PRATT (4.01): I move:

That this Assembly direct the government to enter into an urgent dialogue with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to determine the serious impact that the planned Gungahlin Drive western route will have on the AIS, and reconsider its plan to adopt the western route.


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