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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 2954..


Focus on Business 2006

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Business and Economic Development and Chief Minister. Could you report to the Assembly on the recent success of the biennial Canberra and regional Focus on Business 2006 and its importance to the ACT business community?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Porter.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: my understanding is that Focus on Business is not a government-initiated initiative. Therefore, I am questioning the possibility that the minister does not have the right to answer the question because it is not an issue of his ministerial responsibility, as I understand it.

MR SPEAKER: He is Minister for Business and Economic Development.

Mrs Dunne: Yes, but my point is that he may be the Minister for Business and Economic Development but he is not the minister responsible for the Focus on Business forum; it is a private endeavour by ACT businesses.

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister is entitled to comment on business matters.

Mrs Dunne: He is entitled to comment on business matters but not on the establishment of something for which he does not have ministerial responsibility.

MR SPEAKER: He has ministerial responsibility as Minister for Business and Economic Development.

MR STANHOPE: The immediate thing I need to say is: why is it that Mrs Dunne and the Liberal Party do not want me to talk about this?

MR SPEAKER: Never mind, Chief Minister, I have ruled on it.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In speaking about business and Focus on Business, which I am very pleased to do—I am very pleased to be associated with Focus on Business, this particular event, and the report on it—one is concerned that, in reporting on it, the Liberal Party do not want me to talk on Focus on Business, a very significant biennial event on the calendar of the ACT and an event which they boycott, as well as not wishing us to speak about or me to inform the Assembly on. This was and is the most significant business-related event in the ACT, which the ACT government is proud to support and which I have been pleased to open and launch for three successive events.

It is a pity that it was boycotted by the Liberal Party. It is a pity that the Liberal Party do not care about business. It is a pity that the Liberal Party does not even want me, as minister responsible for business, to report on the most significant business event in the ACT calendar.


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