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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (31 July) . . Page.. 2399 ..


have also seen another record year of international visitation, with tourist numbers rising almost 17 per cent.

In describing Canberra's economy as being "on a roll", Deloitte has also forecast that our strong growth will continue into the coming years. The combination of continued growth of our education sector, more people being attracted to Canberra and the territory government's investments in major infrastructure works are all supporting a very positive outlook for the territory's economy.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, how are Canberrans seeing the benefits of sustained, strong growth in our local economy?

MR BARR: The latest data shows that Canberra's unemployment rate is now 3.5 per cent. This is not only the lowest unemployment rate in the country but also the lowest rate locally for more than six years. The number of job vacancies in Canberra rose by almost 25 per cent over the past year, even as our population grew very strongly. We are very pleased to see that our strong economy is delivering more jobs for younger Canberrans. I was particularly pleased to see that our youth unemployment rate is now at six per cent, which is significantly lower than 12 months ago and is five percentage points lower than the national average. Our youth unemployment rate is six per cent; nationally it is 11 per cent. More Canberrans are working because our economy is growing strongly and we are sharing the benefits of that growth right across our city.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, what steps is the government taking to see strong economic growth and job creation continue into the future?

MR BARR: We will over the coming sitting weeks in August be debating the territory budget. That budget has a very clear plan to keep strengthening the territory economy by investing in Canberra. The government's investment in new health and hospital infrastructure, better transport link, and new and expanded education facilities will create more opportunities for local businesses and workers.

Our land release program of over 17,000 dwelling sites over the next four years will boost building activity while continuing to grow the supply of affordable and diverse housing for Canberrans.

Our focus on expanding major events, investing in new innovation businesses, supporting tourism and partnering with the higher education sector will continue to diversify the territory's economy and create more jobs for Canberrans, whatever their line of work. The 2018 budget presents a strong economic plan for Canberra and builds on our past achievements, strengthens this city and creates even more good jobs for Canberrans.

Land—rural property acquisition

MS LEE: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. In the report on rural land sales the Auditor-General found that you approved the purchase of Milapuru for $7 million despite the land being valued at $4 million. The media has reported that


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