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that vision. I focused on the need to work in partnership with business and the important role governments must play in aiding business growth. I also announced a number of initiatives which aim to remove impediments to business competitiveness.

Today, I would like to outline what the Liberal Government will do to assist business to compete more effectively at a national and international level. As Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism, I have recently participated in two key ministerial forums. The first was the Industry, Technology and Regional Development Ministerial Council meeting held in Adelaide, where I had the opportunity to discuss with my Commonwealth, State and Northern Territory colleagues challenges facing business, particularly small- to medium-sized businesses. Of particular importance to the ACT was the discussion on the Commonwealth's innovation statement due to be released in August-September this year, the AusIndustry initiative, the use of government purchasing policies to assist the development of local industry and the importance of regional development initiatives as a means of facilitating business growth. State and Territory governments, including the ACT Government, expressed support for the above national initiatives to facilitate the development of industry but reinforced the view that the Commonwealth must undertake this role in partnership with State and Territory governments and the business community.

I would like to highlight some of the specific issues covered. Small companies often experience difficulties in accessing venture capital and seed funding for their projects. Initiatives flowing from the innovation statement are expected to address this and to provide support for innovative businesses, particularly small- to medium-sized enterprises. The statement will seek to assist companies and institutions to commercialise their research and development activities. The ACT has a very active research and development sector, and the innovation statement has the potential to further support development in this area. I am confident that benefits will flow to the ACT from this Commonwealth initiative. Mr Speaker, the ACT Government will, of course, continue to support the R and D sector. You will be aware that the Government has recently approved a $100,000 grant to CAMBIA, a world leader in agricultural molecular biology. We have also provided support to local companies, Willing and Partners and HYDSYS, to move into the Asian market in environmental and water resource management. We will also continue to actively support our cooperative research centres.

The ACT Government is currently negotiating a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth to implement the AusIndustry initiative in the ACT. AusIndustry was a major initiative announced in the Commonwealth's white paper on employment, industry and regional development. AusIndustry will be launched nationally on 28 June 1995. On that day the ACT Government and the Office of AusIndustry will host an ACT industry launch with senior members of the private sector. The launch will be video-linked to Sydney, where the Prime Minister and Senator Cook will launch AusIndustry nationally. AusIndustry is a significant initiative in the history of Australian enterprise improvement programs. It will provide a single point of contact for businesses and a client manager who will individually assist and track a company's enterprise development program. The service will be delivered through the ACT Government’s Business Services Centre. Most importantly, it will involve private sector program deliverers and reflects the Government's commitment to the involvement of the private sector in providing services to business. The ACT and New South Wales governments

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