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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 456 ..


have been killed. Over 75 per cent of the population—that is 22 million people, nearly the population of Australia—are in need of humanitarian assistance.

We should not go blithely into this burgeoning arms trade without considering the ethical dimensions. What are the likely destinations of our weapons and what are the human consequences? Certainly, arms manufacturing is a lucrative high-tech industry that could generate employment, but it comes with serious ethical issues.

Madam Speaker, despite all these misgivings about the indicators we use to measure growth, the Greens will be supporting this motion today because we agree that it is important for the ACT’s future for us to support diverse growth industries.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (10.38): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank Mr Pettersson for bringing this motion forward. It is not every day we can claim that we have the fastest growing economy in the country. According to data released in the Australian national accounts: state accounts publication, Canberra’s gross state product is growing at a rate of 4.6 per cent. To place some of these figures into perspective, this growth is double what the nation is experiencing. Our government has presented a strong plan to ensure that our economy adapts to new economic realities, and from them create new opportunities. The government has done this by making smart, forward-thinking investments to support our economy for the years to come.

Our economy is changing. It is no secret that we can no longer rely on the public service to support our economy. We saw that yesterday in the announcement about yet more cuts to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Belconnen. The Liberals’ contempt for our city is well known and their agenda of removing, piece by piece, government departments and agencies from Canberra is ongoing and lacks evidence.

But despite this, our economy is growing. We have done this by building on our economic strengths and supporting diversification. The ACT’s gross state product shows the positive effects of our government’s diversification agenda on our economy. While the public administration and safety industry continues to be the largest industry in the ACT, we are beginning to see the strength of our economy expand into new industries, some of which people may not expect.

According to the latest ABS data, Canberra’s own information, media and telecommunications industry grew by about 11.4 per cent. We saw the industry contribute 0.4 percentage points of growth to our most recent GSP. I am sure most of us here have enjoyed shows such as Rake and The Code, which were filmed here in the ACT. The ACT government has also supported the series Secret City. Matchbox Pictures commenced filming of Secret City series 2 in Sydney on 12 February this year. Following the Sydney production, the team is scheduled to film in Canberra from 3 March 2018 for three weeks. I am very pleased to say that the ACT government is supporting the production of this second series.

It is also fantastic to have film production companies being established in Canberra. It was fantastic to hear that development expert and executive producer Rita Street and producer-creator Lina Foti have launched a Latin American-focused kids


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