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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1918 ..


Government—sister city agreement (Question No 1115)

Mr Coe asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 23 March 2018:

(1) Can the Chief Minister provide an update on the status of the Sister City Agreement between the City of Wellington, New Zealand and Canberra, Australia.

(2) Can the Chief Minister provide a summary of how the ACT Government has met or delivered on each of the commitments outlined in the Sister City Agreement with Wellington, New Zealand including a breakdown of any associated costs.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The Sister City Agreement (SCA) between Canberra and the Wellington City Council (WCC) was signed on 6 July 2016 by the then Mayor of Wellington, Councillor Celia Wade-Brown and myself as Chief Minister. This is the third SCA that the ACT has entered into following Nara, Japan (1993) and Beijing, China (2000).

The SCA with Wellington details a program of activities through 14 clauses, each dedicated to a specific area of activity identified by both cities as a matter of importance.

I have tasked the Commissioner for International Engagement (CIE) and the Office of International Engagement with the delivery and maintenance of the Canberra Wellington SCA.

The status of the Canberra Wellington SCA is that it is actively engaged, reciprocated and ongoing. The SCA is activated through continuous contact, multiple exchanges of delegations and individuals, WCC's Capital Collab and through the ACT's annual Canberra Week in Wellington (CWW).

The strength of the relationship is such that both cities have and will continue to conduct joint activity in Singapore in the areas such as screen and innovation. Possible future activity includes areas such as smart cities, city development, tourism, festivals, botanic and zoological gardens.

Regardless of the impending loss of direct air services between the two cities the ACT Government and the WCC are both committed to making the SCA work.

(2) The clauses of the Sister City Agreement and the activity in each are as follows:

Clause 1: Cultural exchanges that connect arts communities, events development and national institutions

As a part of each of the CWW delegations, there has been a strong arts focus. As a promotion for the first CWW a concert coinciding with Wellington's Guy Fawkes Night fireworks was conducted. Street art and other activations were also planned.

WCC organised Capital Collab (CC), held in Acton, Canberra, in October 2017 which had an arts as well as a New Zealand food and beverage showcase component.


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