Page 135 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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relationships and make our community safer for everyone. This is the kind of government we are, because this is the kind of Canberra we are. We take care of each other, and together we are stronger, safer and ready to respond to our ever-changing world.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.40): I rise to speak in support of the Chief Minister’s outline of the ACT government’s priorities for the year ahead. Entering our third year of this global health pandemic, it is clearer than ever that COVID-19 will continue to present new challenges for community and business. What we have learned is that Canberra continues to demonstrate itself as one of the most educated, resilient and community-minded cities. With this as our foundation, the ACT government is committed to delivering on our economic recovery plan.

Cultural and creative activity is increasingly recognised as an important component of economic growth, with national activity growing to over $100 billion in 2018-19, an increase of over 27 per cent over the previous 10 years. As is well recognised, we are home to a strong arts and creative industries sector, with a wide spectrum of activity encompassing visual arts and craft, design, fashion, music, literature, theatre, film, games and more.

Canberra has the highest cultural participation rate of any jurisdiction in Australia, with Canberrans spending approximately $71 per week on arts and culture, higher per capita than any other capital city. We know that most ACT residents feel the arts have a big or very big impact on their sense of wellbeing and happiness. And this is even more important now as we move through the pandemic.

Creative and cultural businesses, which constitute almost 11 per cent of all ACT businesses, are growing at the strongest rate in the nation, similar to our very strong growth rate of new businesses. Canberra has the highest creative intensity in Australia, meaning the proportion of people working in creative occupations across all of Canberra’s industries.

An immediate priority, of course, is the government supporting the recovery and resilience of the arts and creative sectors. We are doing this through our targeted and ongoing arts funding programs. Recently I was pleased to announce a further $500,000 to Amp It Up! to support our live music venues.

Each year over $10 million is provided to support Canberra’s leading arts organisations to provide programs, services and infrastructure to support and develop the arts in the ACT, as well as activities that strongly engage with the ACT community. These organisations provide employment and career pathways for artists and arts workers and support a diversity of activity and access opportunities for the ACT community.

We have several new projects underway to support the infrastructure so that these fantastic institutions that we have are fit for purpose. Members may be aware that

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