Page 4173 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 29 November 1994

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  Tuesday, 29 November 1994


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 2.30 pm and read the prayer.


  Technology Park - Symonston

MRS CARNELL: Madam Speaker, my question without notice is to the Chief Minister. In March this year the Chief Minister announced that an advanced technology park would be created at Symonston, which would attract 25 manufacturers to the ACT and would generate anywhere up to 800 jobs. I presume that the Chief Minister is aware of the results of a survey, commissioned by her department and carried out by Coopers and Lybrand, which looked at the demand for advanced technology manufacturing sites in the ACT. The survey found that only one to two companies may be attracted to Canberra each year. Based on these statistics and in light of her Government's anti-investment policies, will the Chief Minister now concede that the Symonston technology park may not be viable?

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, I will concede nothing of the kind. The last advice that I had on the progress with the Symonston advanced technology manufacturing park was that there was considerable interest being expressed, particularly amongst Canberra's existing advanced technology businesses. One of the major reasons for establishing this park was that, as a government, we were aware that there were a number of advanced technology manufacturers in Canberra who were unhappy with their current location and who did wish to make a move. Before we made the announcement, obviously, the whole issue was widely canvassed with those organisations. In fact, they created their own organisation to represent their interests. The organisation is known as CRATMA - the Canberra Region Advanced Technology Manufacturing Association. That organisation has been closely involved in the planning for this park.

Madam Speaker, I do not share Mrs Carnell's scepticism about it. I believe that it is a necessary move - one which will clearly establish our advanced technology manufacturers in a niche where they can continue to operate at the leading edge of advanced technology manufacturing in Australia and, indeed, in some cases, in the world. That is something that Canberra businesses ought to be very proud of. I think it is a real pity that Mrs Carnell is, yet again, trying to talk down a positive aspect of the ACT's economy.

Mrs Carnell: You said that it would attract 25 manufacturers and would create 800 jobs.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Carnell, you will be able to ask a supplementary question, as usual.

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