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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . .

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Veterinary Surgeons Act—Veterinary Surgeons (Acting Member) Appointment 2017 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2017-313 (LR, 21 December 2017).

Petition—Out of order

Petition which does not conform with the standing orders—Strata residences—Methodology for determining rates and land tax—Ms J Burch (4 signatures).

Government priorities 2018

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (4.09): I am pleased to outline the government's policy priorities for 2018. Since the 2016 election, we have of course been getting on with the jobs that Canberrans elected us to do. Across our priorities of expanding access to public health services, providing better schools and facilities for our students, a transport system that caters for a growing city, better and tidier suburbs and a strong job-creating economy, we are focused on making the Canberra we love even better.

This, of course, will continue in 2018. The ACT government will focus on strengthening our city and supporting our community. I think it is fair to say that Canberrans are the happiest, healthiest, longest living and best educated Australians. This city is the best place in the world to live. In 2018 Canberra has been recognised as one of the best places in the world to visit.

Of course, this did not happen by accident and we cannot simply maintain it through good luck. We know we need to continue to diversify our territory economy and do more to support job creation for Canberrans from all backgrounds.

Our strategy to strengthen and support sectors such as higher education, research, professional services and technological innovation is working. We now have more jobs in the private sector. We have Australia's lowest unemployment rate and, as I have mentioned more than once today, more than 10,000 new jobs were created in the territory last year.

Our city's population is growing because people are finding secure, well-paid jobs here. They can move with their family and they can settle here. This government is ensuring that local companies that do the right thing by their employees are not disadvantaged in bidding for government work. That is why this year we will introduce a secure local jobs package. Included in that package will be a code that requires the highest ethical and labour standards.

We are now a city of 410,000 people and it is important that we plan now for our population to reach half a million over the next decade or so. We are taking important decisions now on how to make our city even stronger, to make our city more livable and to make it an even more enjoyable place.


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