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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4012..

Mr Stanhope

: Just keep bagging the police. Keep up bagging the police.


: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Cornwell?


: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Stanhope

: What have you got against the police, Greg?


: It would be nice if the Chief Minister concentrated a little more on Canberra instead of Iraq.


: Order!


: I have a supplementary question. Mr Wood, you mentioned that telephone facilities would be improved. Is this going to be at all stations across the ACT? You indicated Belconnen but I would like to know if it is going to be done across Canberra, and have you any idea where?


: I did say that I believe it has happened by now, starting at Belconnen and going across to other stations. I have just repeated what I said.

Canberra-Beijing sister city relationship


: My question without notice is directed to the Chief Minister. The President of China, Hu Jintao, is in Australia to discuss developing trade relationships with China. The potential for developing closer relationships and business opportunities with China is huge and bleeding obvious. Peter Costello is quoted in today's Canberra Times as stating:

Developing that relationship with China will be an enormous benefit to Australia.

This morning Bob Carr said much the same thing on radio with regard to New South Wales. Due to the foresight and hard work of former Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell, Canberra became sister city with Beijing-something that the business community saw as a critical economic development opportunity. The current Chief Minister has done nothing to develop that golden opportunity for Canberra. By gratuitously insulting the Chinese ambassador the Chief Minister's contribution has only been negative. Why has he wasted this golden opportunity to develop the sister city relationship with Beijing through his inactivity, lack of political will and petulance?


: I thank Mr Pratt for his usual incisive, intelligent and direct question and for his understanding of this issue. This government is as committed as the former government to that sister city relationship. We have supported, and we will continue to support, that relationship through the Chief Minister's Department. We provide significant resources for and expend a great deal of energy and effort on our relationship with Beijing, recognising the obvious potential benefits that can be achieved through enhanced trade and business between Canberra and Beijing-or any other place in China-and between Australia and China. Those things cannot be gainsaid. I

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