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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2492..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

workers compensation supplementation fund on legal advice. Since then I have been given further information in relation to this issue, which leads me to ask you: does ACT WorkCover have any guidelines or regulations prohibiting employees of WorkCover receiving gifts or hospitality from clients and stakeholders?

MS GALLAGHER: I have to take on notice the question as to whether WorkCover has specific guidelines.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can you guarantee that WorkCover and the workers compensation supplementation fund have not been compromised by the receipt of gifts and hospitality?

MS GALLAGHER: Certainly not that I am aware of, at all. I do not know. If you have some information about some use of the supplementation fund money that may have been compromised-

MR SPEAKER: Ms Gallagher, it is open to you to take that on notice, given that you took the main part of the question on notice.

MS GALLAGHER: I am merely saying that what the opposition leader is suggesting is quite serious. I am not aware of anything. Obviously, Mr Smyth is aware of something quite serious. If he could provide us with additional information I would be happy to pursue that fully and respond to the Assembly.

Economic white paper-defence industry

MR HARGREAVES: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism. As part of the economic white paper released by the minister, the defence industry was highlighted as a priority industry sector. I also note that the defence and industry annual conference is currently being held at the National Convention Centre. Can the minister outline what BusinessACT is doing to target this sector?

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. It is quite a topical question, given that that conference is on at the moment and that we have recently had what has been termed a policy release by the opposition in relation to the defence industry; a policy the centrepiece of which was borrowed, I think, from quotations from the economic white paper, which we are quite flattered about; a policy that is, like most of the others I have seen so far, very thin.

The government recognises that the defence and security industry has an employment base of something in the order of 15,000 across the ACT, with a huge spend-hundreds of millions of dollars-directly and indirectly impacting upon the territory. With the current world climate, we expect that the defence and security industry will continue to grow for some time, and that is a sad situation. However, as the saying goes, it is an ill wind that blows nobody good. To some extent, the pressure within defence and security will have a positive impact upon the ACT economy for some time to come.

Action 28, already recognised in the economic white paper, outlined the government's commitment to developing businesses in the ACT that are capable of tapping into the


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