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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2424..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

effectiveness through the fact that there have been over 50,000 unique website visits to the Live in Canberra site, 25 per cent of which come from overseas.

We have distributed over 2,000 information packs, we have distributed over 10,000 Live in Canberra brochures, and we have conducted very successful campaigns, now repeat campaigns, in southern Sydney and the Illawarra area and already in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and we are returning to the United Kingdom in October and visiting South Africa.

So there is very significant interest. We know of significant numbers of people that have chosen Canberra as a home as a result of the Live in Canberra campaign. Indeed, the Live in Canberra team has 450 people on its welcome event database and we are aware of over 100 that the program has directly assisted. So there is some indication of the numbers of people who have been directly affected by the campaign in their decision to work, settle and live in Canberra.

Just briefly in relation to these skilled business migration programs, it is interesting and our effectiveness is increasing and the number of successful applications that we are processing is climbing significantly and incrementally under the employer-sponsored program. In the last year there were 183 applications from ACT employers to sponsor skilled workers to fill demand in Canberra. Those workers were accompanied on their arrival in Canberra by 217 dependants, and the total salary certified under that particular program was $9.9 million.

Under the skilled migration program the government sponsored 196 skilled migrants who were accompanied on their arrival in Canberra by 297 dependants. These sponsored skilled migrants will transfer $21.9 million to the ACT for settlement purposes. Under the business migration program in the last year, nine businesspeople who were sponsored by the government for provisional residence, under subclass 163, propose to invest $3 million into the ACT economy.

Three provisional visa holders who had successfully conducted business in the ACT for the last two years are being sponsored for permanent residence, with a total investment of $1.6 million, and three business migrants, sponsored by the government in 2005-06 were granted provisional business visas by DIAC. They have been sponsored to invest $2 million in the economy over the next two years.

So we are making very pleasing progress under the skilled and business migration programs. Our officers are very active. We are now looking far afield. Indeed, because of the chronic skills shortage and issues around skills, Live in Canberra will remain one of our highest priorities in relation to supporting business in the territory.


MRS DUNNE: My question is directed to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on 7 August this year, Archbishop Mark Coleridge spoke on ABC radio, commenting about renewing Catholic schools. He said:

The level of funding for Catholic schools in the ACT is very unsatisfactory. I've said it in letters to the Chief Minister.

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