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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 4051..


Economic white paper

Ministerial statement

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement concerning the economic white paper.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: I would like to deliver a report to the Legislative Assembly on the economic white paper. We came into office with a commitment to deliver a strategic, decision-making framework on the way we govern people in the territory. The economic white paper, released in December 2003, was the first of three important strategic planning documents. The Canberra plan, which was announced by the Chief Minister in March of this year, draws together the major themes that link the economic white paper, the Canberra spatial plan and the Canberra social plan.

Today, Mr Speaker, I want to focus solely on the economic white paper and how it has kick-started a process of building an economy for the future. In broadest measures, the government has now committed $126.7 million to roll out economic white paper actions. All the centrepiece actions that required new funding have been supported in either the March 2004 third appropriation or the 2004-05 budget. Let me briefly list them:

$10 million commercialisation investment fund;

$10 million to the University of Canberra to expedite construction of the new School of Health Sciences;

$21.4 million for enterprise development programs over the next four years;

$28.2 million to tourism, marketing and promotion;

$40 million to support the long-overdue upgrade of Canberra's convention facilities;

$11.7 million for ICT infrastructure in our schools;

$1.2 million to establish the office of Film, Media and Digital Media.

There are a host of other initiatives.

While the government is proud of its financial commitment, this statement should not be seen as a ticked-off government shopping list. It is one thing to commit money, it is another to spend it with impact and achieve the outcomes we are targeting. The four key strategies underpinning the economic white paper shed light on these outcomes.

Strategy one is supporting business. It would clearly need to expand and diversify the ACT private sector economy. Accordingly, the economic white paper establishes a work program with many initiatives to directly and indirectly support Treasury businesses. Strategy two is capitalising on competitive advantage. It is closely linked to the first


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