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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 699 ..

that in their employment levels being lower than was the case a year ago. So, whilst most of the economy has recovered and some areas are in fact in a much better position than they were a year ago, we do acknowledge that there is still quite a journey ahead for those impacted industry sectors.

MS ORR: Chief Minister, what measures has the ACT government undertaken to support growing industries here in the territory?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. There is no doubt that the ACT’s strong public sector has been a key part of the stability of our economy and our economic recovery, but maintaining confidence outside the public sector is fundamental to the territory’s future. The government aims to reach our target of more than 250,000 local jobs in our economy by 2025 by supporting employment growth in a range of growing industry sectors outside the public sector.

The government has already commenced work and provided funding towards our future jobs fund to protect and create jobs in our university sector, as well as key growth industries like renewable energy, health technology, the arts, tourism, cybersecurity, defence and space industries. This includes facilitating, with the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, the expansion of their campus in north Canberra to deliver world-class capability in game design, 3D animation and visual effects; as well as our partnership with the University of New South Wales Canberra on their city campus development, not far from where we are today, and our ongoing partnership and expansion of the Canberra Institute of Technology and the University of Canberra.

Higher education is Canberra’s first billion-dollar export industry. It is a very large employer of Canberrans, and it is fundamental to a skilled and highly paid workforce into the future in many other industry sectors. That is why it is a high priority for this government.

Municipal services—community gardens

MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, as you would be aware, community gardens provide an awesome social and environmental dividend for our community. However, I am concerned that waiting lists for the community gardens in my electorate of Brindabella are in some cases more than a decade long. What work is the government doing to ensure the provision of more spaces for community gardens?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Davis for his question, and I also acknowledge that we have not only a fantastic tree canopy in Canberra but fantastic parks and open spaces. The community gardens groups certainly play a role in providing vibrant places for social connection in the community and we want to encourage more people to come together to use our fantastic parks and spaces, potentially to grow vegetables but other plant species as well.

The ACT government released nature strip guidelines for communities to utilise in looking at developing, on public open space, vegetable gardens and the like that are

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