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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 7 Hansard (3 June) . .

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We welcome Microsoft's engagement in Canberra. We welcome companies like Lockheed Martin. We welcome a large number of multinationals who have a significant presence in this city. We welcome their contribution and the fact that they also support local employment. We also want to ensure that Canberra consumers are able to access the widest range of consumer goods. The idea that is perpetrated by those opposite that Canberrans should be denied access to the products of these major firms is fundamentally anti-competitive. I am surprised that the party of business is opposed to competition.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, can you tell us more about how the renewed business development strategy will support business investment in future growth areas?

MR BARR: I thank Dr Bourke for the supplementary. Our highest priority here is to make sure that our economy grows and that it creates new jobs and business opportunities. Through our renewed business development strategy, we will continue to support economic activities that offer major growth opportunities for the Canberra economy.

Visitors to our city contribute $1.6 billion each year to our economy. We have a plan to grow that to $2.5 billion over the balance of this decade. We will continue to support major events and tourism investment. We will also continue to support advocacy, in partnership with the Canberra International Airport, for direct international flights into our city.

Another growth area is higher education. International and interstate students studying in the ACT already contribute nearly $900 million per year to our economy and contribute to the creation of 6,100 full-time equivalent jobs. Through study Canberra we will continue to work with our higher education institutions to promote Canberra as an education destination of choice.

Our city also has considerable strengths in the renewable energy industry, spanning education and training, research, financing and operations and asset management. Through our renewable energy industry development strategy, we will accelerate the development of the renewable energy industry in the territory for the benefit of participating businesses, institutions and the broader community.

Schools—Belconnen

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to Minister Burch, in her current role as Minister for Education and Training. Minister, the Canberra Times on Monday, 1 June advised you would be announcing a $17.6 million facelift for Belconnen High School. Apart from the $8.2 million less in funding, how is this announcement different from the one made by former Chief Minister Katy Gallagher in October 2012, when announcing a $28 million facelift for Belconnen High School as part of the 2012 election campaign—the same project referenced in the 2013-14 budget and again in the 2014-15 budget?


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