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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . .

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Government priorities for 2015

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (10.40): I ask leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning government priorities for 2015.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: It is good to be back. My government has been active and productive since the Assembly last met. I want to take the opportunity of today's sitting to report to the Assembly and, through the Assembly, to our city on what we have done and what we are going to do in the coming sitting period in preparation for the territory budget in June and throughout the year.

We are at the start of a big year—a big year for the government and a big year for the Assembly, but, more importantly, a big year of renewal for the community that we represent.

We have renewed the Labor team in this Assembly. Our newest MLA, Meegan Fitzharris, joins the Assembly as a passionate citizen of Gungahlin and as someone who, in taking up the next stage of a long career in policy leadership, will be an outstanding member of this place. The Assembly saw today in her first speech what many of us have known for a long time—that Canberra's families and suburbs have a very strong advocate in Meegan Fitzharris.

We have renewed the government ministry. My friend and colleague Yvette Berry joins the ministry as an experienced advocate and leader in the Canberra community. I will say this morning publicly what I have told her privately—that her years of service for workers and for the Canberra community give her a major head start in her ministerial career.

I know these two very experienced and talented women will make a huge contribution to our government and to our city in the decades to come.

We have renewed the structure of the government as well. The new portfolio arrangements I announced last month are helping the government to support job creation and economic growth. Canberra can and should retain the best of the idyllic civic amenity of the past—but only by growing to become a modern, dynamic city with a strong urban core. I have taken personal carriage of this in my new role as Minister for Urban Renewal. I intend to promote our garden suburbs and our urban villages, bringing together ACT-wide infrastructure renewal with the explicit aim of promoting economic, social and cultural activities at a suburban level across the city, from the north to the south.

Canberra is an inclusive, egalitarian city—and with a Labor government it will remain so. This is why I have asked Minister Berry to assist me on social inclusion and


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