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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4645 ..


no attempt at all to strengthen the local economy even more. Let us look at the opportunities. I have spoken about the convention industry. Let us talk about tourism. We have got three or four ministers who potentially could have answered the media’s request to talk about the report on festivals. Mr Barr did not want to do it. Apparently Mr Barr never faces the media whenever there is a hard issue or there is something wrong; he flicks that to somebody else. They put up Ms Gallagher as the acting Chief Minister, so she copped this one—a report that says there is so much wrong with the way we deliver our festivals and our events.

I asked the minister in estimates whether he had an event strategy and the answer was, no, he did not. “Do you have a blockbuster strategy?” “No, but we’ve got a policy.” “Did you have an accommodation strategy?” “No, I’ve got a list of sites.” “Did you have an attraction strategy?” “No, that’s the federal government’s role.” That is the problem with Mr Barr. You cannot trust him with a portfolio because he does not have an answer and he does not show leadership. When he is not interested, those portfolios suffer, and they suffer dramatically. Tourism has enormous potential for this city. If you want a strong local economy, support the things that we are good at. We have something that the rest of this country does not have—our federal cultural icons. No-one else has those. You can see the investment of the former Howard government in the recent opening of the National Gallery, particularly the new galleries devoted to Indigenous art. It is sensational. Let us back that up and make it happen.

We are still waiting for the detail of Mr Barr’s new autumn event. Apparently the details are coming. They are always coming because they do not have any ideas. The blockbuster that was the masterpieces fell into their lap. What we need is a coherent plan, but then what we need is action. What we do not have is action from this government to deliver a strong, vibrant economy. (Time expired.)

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (4.40): We have discussed very similar MPIs in the recent past, and economic prosperity will, of course, be a pressing issue for any community. A strong local economy is an essential part of our local prosperity. A strong economy provides opportunities for all members of the community to make a contribution and provide for themselves and their families. On this we all agree. The challenge for us, as community representatives, is to provide options and initiatives to maintain our position as a strong economy and to support local jobs, as we transition to a low emission, green economy.

We all know that significant changes will have to take place, if we are to become a sustainable local economy that provides jobs that make a positive contribution to our community. All the traditional measures suggest that our economy is performing very well. The real challenge for us is to maintain that prosperity into the future.

For the purposes of today’s discussion I would like to focus on how we create sustainable, green jobs in order to ensure the ongoing strength of our economy. I would like to quote the opening paragraph of the ACTU report entitled Green gold rush: how ambitious environmental policy can make Australia a leader in the global race for green jobs. It says:


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