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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 394..

also bring economic opportunities through trade, investment and tourism, not to mention a much higher level of international recognition that our city has previously only dreamed about.

To further advance the case for direct flights, Mr Byron and I met with Senior Minister of State Mrs Josephine Teo, who has responsibility not only for the Ministry of Finance but also for the Ministry of Transport, with ministerial oversight of Singapore's Changi Airport. The minister and her senior officials are responsible for aviation services and were delighted to receive details of the territory government's active support, in partnership with Canberra Airport, for establishing direct services between our two cities.

I also met with the Chairman and Managing Director of Comfort Delgro, one of the world's major ground transport organisations, with interests across the globe, including Australia and the Canberra region—Deane's Buslines, for example. The opportunity to establish a meaningful dialogue with senior representatives and decision makers to highlight the transformation of our city is a particularly timely opportunity.

Michelle Melbourne and I were also given top-level briefings by senior executives of both the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre and the magnificent and soon-to-be opened Singapore Sports Hub, where the ACT Brumbies will be participating in a Rugby 10s competition in June.

With our city to the lake project coming to life and having the opportunity to inspect similar facilities being delivered firsthand, to receive details and a better understanding of the funding and management models behind these first-class initiatives further enhances the government's knowledge base as we prepare to make a number of similar major infrastructure decisions concerning the future of our city.

In conclusion, the groundwork to build greater business-to-business and intergovernmental relationships has been laid. The challenge before us now is to convert these strong foundations into mutually beneficial partnerships. I look forward to advising the Assembly of these new initiatives as they progress.

ACT women's economic and financial progress 2014

Statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.14), by leave: Over the past three years, as the Minister for Women, I have provided a statement on ACT women's economic and financial progress to this Assembly.

Economic security and financial independence are critical to a person's ability to participate in and contribute to our community. We know that in the ACT women's workforce participation levels are higher than the national average, with 69 per cent of ACT women participating in the labour force compared to the national average of

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