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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 6 Hansard (13 May) . .

Page.. 1755..

As a former member of the Capital Region Area Consultative Committee and the succeeding Regional Development Australia ACT Committee, I am delighted by the recent development of the Canberra region brand that strongly works on our relationship with our surrounding local councils to share our ideas and to exploit the synergy of our different strengths, working together to build more opportunity for all.

Mr Smyth's diatribe—that is the only word I have to describe it—does not have much to say on this motion about the CBR Innovation Network, which is disappointing. He does not have much to say about the Canberra region brand, which I am sure anybody in the region who is particularly interested in regional development, as I am, also finds disappointing. He reserves most of his vitriol for an attack on the University of Canberra, which, as it is a major employer and grower of our local economy, supporting local jobs and providing local business with education and training, is astonishingly disappointing.

I am going to talk a bit more about something a little more positive. I am going to talk about more of what the ACT government have been doing, in particular the close work we have been doing with community-focused enterprises to harness the growth opportunities presented to us by being one of the first sites in Australia to implement the national disability insurance scheme. In order to support that sector and realise those opportunities, the government have earmarked $12.5 million in funding for community sector development.

Canberra leads the nation in experience with the NDIS, as one of the first trial sites and the first site to transition all eligible people to the scheme. This translates to a valuable first-mover advantage for Canberra-based businesses, including training institutions such as the CIT, which I have talked about before, which is already a leading national provider of NDIS-related training skills and development. This competitive edge, combined with Canberra's existing strengths in health industries, can become a driver of our growth in years to come.

In addition, ongoing implementation of the NDIS will better support people with a disability to participate in the workforce, while demand for new goods and services and the workers needed to deliver them will drive investment in skills and training for a changing workforce.

Another area we are benefitting from is being early adopters of renewable energy. A fortnight ago the Minister for the Environment launched our new strategy to bring together industry and research sectors to accelerate the development of a renewable energy industry in the ACT. The strategy will support industry to develop the next generation of renewable energy technologies, including the creation of a renewable energy precinct and test berth facilities. This is a major opportunity to create jobs and build a stronger, cleaner and more robust economy.

I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Motion agreed to.

At 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.

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