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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 3 Hansard (20 March) . .

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I have written to the re-elected Tasmanian Premier seeking to work with him on re-establishing a Canberra-Hobart direct service and, with Tasmanian tourism booming in the same way that ACT tourism is booming, I think we have a positive case to put to the airlines in that regard.

We will also keep working with the New South Wales government to improve the Canberra-Sydney rail line. We will continue to invest in events and we will continue to partner with the commonwealth, particularly our national institutions, to promote the world-class cultural tourism events that they stage in our city.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, how does this growth affect the broader economy?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cody for the question. The economy continues to significantly outperform its long run averages and, indeed, other states and territories. Gross state product grew by 4.6 per cent in the last fiscal year measured. Tourism is a key contributor to that growth. It not only contributes through the hospitality sector but also drives construction activity through refurbishments, new builds underway and what is very clearly a strong pipeline of new hotel development in our city. Tourism is also a significant contributor to youth employment, and the growth of the tourism sector has seen youth unemployment drop in our city. As an export product, tourism contributes significantly to growing the wealth of our city.

Land—Dickson purchase

MR WALL: My question is to the Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development. Chief Minister, why have you failed to accept ministerial responsibility for the major governance failures in the Economic Development Directorate that occurred regarding the Dickson land swap?

MR BARR: I have not and I have taken a series of steps to address those matters.

MR WALL: Chief Minister, to be clear, are you saying that some responsibility for the shortcomings lies with the public servants involved in handling the $2.6 million deal with the Dickson Tradies?

MR BARR: Under ACT government procurement rules, those matters are delegated to officials, because politicians should not be involved in procurement matters.

MR COE: Minister, have any public servants been reprimanded as a result of how this deal was managed?

MR BARR: I believe that some public servants who were involved no longer work for the ACT government. I think that matter is on the public record. In relation to others, that will be, I think, a matter for the director-general of the directorate that now employs those individuals.


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