Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1302..
talking it down, we have got an international investor which has done all the work it needs to do, seen the opportunities in Canberra, and is prepared to come and invest and generate local jobs growth here in the private sector.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Berry.
MS BERRY: Chief Minister, what has the government done to facilitate the arrival of IKEA to the national capital, and when is the store scheduled to open?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Berry for the question. The government has undertaken a number of proactive steps to facilitate the arrival of IKEA to Canberra. I originally met with senior executives, including David Hood, from IKEA some 12 to 18 months ago. At that time they were just looking at the idea of an IKEA store in Canberra but certainly had not firmed up any final position on it. I think the Deputy Chief Minister met with IKEA as well.
The coordinator general within the Economic Development Directorate was asked by the government to work closely with IKEA and across government to facilitate their examination of the possibility of a store in Canberra. I would say that IKEA spoke very positively, in fact, they said it had been a very good process in Canberra to finalise their decision-making working with a range of different directorates.
The site is currently used by TAMS as a stockpile for the adjoining Majura parkway construction, so there is some work required to enable the handover of the land. But based on the timetable of works that is being facilitated across government, we expect to be able to hand over the site between August and December this year. Then there is about a 12-month construction process. I think everybody involved in the project would like to see the store open by December 2015.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.
MR WALL: Chief Minister, what consultation has your government undertaken with local retailers already operating in the space to assess the impact IKEA will have?
MS GALLAGHER: We have ongoing discussions with business industry groups—
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MS GALLAGHER: If you are asking me did I go and ask the opinion of small business about whether or not they would like IKEA to come to Canberra, no, I did not. The government does not pick and choose winners when we are making decisions like this.
Opposition members interjecting—
MS GALLAGHER: No, we do not. IKEA and the government have worked together to deliver what is a good outcome for Canberra and the region, generating 250 ongoing jobs, building up a retail precinct in Majura, supporting competition in the retail market, which is ultimately very good for consumers—
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