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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 February 2018) . . Page.. 82 ..

Constant cultivation is, of course, essential for any sister city relationship to continue to flourish. So apart from celebrating the second Canberra Week in Wellington, the New Zealand mission aimed to further strengthen the relationship with the Wellington City government. The development of the New Zealand mission program was led by the Commissioner for International Engagement, with specific elements of art, business and tourism being jointly coordinated across agencies within Enterprise Canberra. The element of Indigenous affairs was coordinated by the office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, with assistance from the commissioner.

The program offered a series of excellent networking and collaboration opportunities for ACT businesses as well as government representatives at a range of key events. I will report on the visit under the following streams: city-to-city relations; creative industries; business and innovation exchange; visitor economy; and First Peoples and Indigenous cultural exchanges.

Firstly on city relations, I met with the Mayor of Wellington City, Mr Justin Lester, to discuss the direction of future collaboration opportunities between the two cities, in particular, a 12-month activity plan for the sister city relationship. I also had the opportunity to meet, congratulate and speak with the new New Zealand Prime Minister, Ms Jacinda Ardern, whilst attending a function hosted by the Chairman of Air New Zealand. I met with the New Zealand minister for tourism, Mr Kelvin Davis, to discuss our tourism agenda including further direct flight opportunities between Auckland and Canberra, as well as with the New Zealand minister for finance and Wellington Central MP, Mr Grant Robertson, to discuss the Canberra-Wellington relationship, aviation and government procurement.

The creative industries are taking a much stronger role in our city’s life, and there is no doubt this is making Canberra a better place. So it was fantastic to witness the signing of an MOU between Screen Canberra and Screen Wellington to develop mutually beneficial working relationships, programs, projects and activities in the screen sector. The MOU will help develop on-screen and post-production talent, enhance working relationships between the creative sectors of our two capitals, and promote Canberra as an ideal location for both film and television projects. Increasing opportunities for on-screen and off-screen talent is at the heart of the MOU, with talent development and exchange an integral part of the agreement.

I am sure members would be aware of the award-winning crews, facilities and talents from Wellington which have produced, amongst other films, The Hobbit, Avatar, and The Lord of The Rings trilogy, amongst many blockbusters. So this will help Canberra’s creative sector to flourish.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lee): Mr Hanson, why does it get noisy when you come in? Chief Minister, please continue.

MR BARR: That is a question we all ask, Madam Assistant Speaker, the answer to which will remain a mystery.

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