Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 14 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 4608..
DR FOSKEY (continuing):
The ACT's business incentive fund, however, is limited to predominantly white-collar fields, such as information and communication technology, administrative services and science and technology industries. Are you prepared to consider broadening the criteria for business support in the territory to include ESD construction as one of the targeted industries?
MR QUINLAN: I do not think so, because I do not think it is necessary. I will have a look at the criteria. I think one of the businesses that we have provided assistance to makes veteran car parts or antique car parts. So it is not restricted particularly to the white-collar or high-tech industries, although I think it has to be conceded that the prospects for substantial economic development in the ACT probably rest in that area.
But it is not exclusive to that. A number of the companies that came with us on the last trade mission to Ireland and northern England were not necessarily white-collar companies. We are interested in whatever development can take place if the businesses are sustainable and if they offer prospects of growth, particularly in employment and economic activity.
I am happy to receive an application from anybody who will contribute to the growth of the economy in the ACT. I stress that the fundamental objective is economic development. It is the process of wealth creation that is usually a precursor to becoming involved in wealth distribution. Provided the company offers prospects for growth and development that will contribute to the territory, we will be happy to talk to them.
DR FOSKEY: Given that the categories of the business incentive fund do appear to preclude the kinds of construction industries that I am talking about, how, then, can the government support businesses that provide opportunities for relatively unskilled people who look as though they might do well?
MR QUINLAN: If they look like they might do well, they might not need us. I will have a look at the criteria to see if there is some impediment that would preclude us from assisting a company with genuine prospects of contribution. Dr Foskey, you talk about employment of unskilled workers. It would be a secondary bonus if we provided that level of employment, but the primary criterion is to contribute to economic growth within the territory. If there is some impediment to the process, I will take a serious look at it.
Policing-motor vehicle thefts
MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for police, Mr Hargreaves. Minister, last Wednesday, 16 November, in this place you said, "Motor vehicle thefts have gone down."The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council has issued its latest Theft Watch report, which I seek leave to table.
MR PRATT: I table the following paper: