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The ACT Government has already established strong international links. For example, we have a sister city relationship with Nara in Japan - once again an initiative of the Follett Labor Government. Since Canberra's twinning with Nara in October 1993, a number of cultural, educational, business and sporting links have taken place. The sister city relationship, which continues to enjoy strong support from the Canberra community, also benefits our children by offering them a wealth of information about different cultures and lifestyles. The Government fully supports the relationship and looks forward to further strengthening the links and increasing the level of exchanges. We are now working to expand our involvement in sister city relationships and the business potential that these relationships offer. Canberra twinned, so to speak, with Versailles-Les Yvelines, on a people to people basis, in Versailles in 1987 and Canberra in 1988. Following these events, a number of activities have taken place, including student exchanges and a spectacular bicentenary fireworks display. The Government is now considering ways in which it might officially affirm the relationship, thereby placing it on a government to government footing.

The Government is committed to implementing its election promises and to working closely with business and the wider community to ensure that the ACT and region has not only a healthy and vibrant business sector but one which is world class and can compete internationally. I will continue to keep the Assembly informed of our achievements. I present the following paper:

Industry, trade and development - Ministerial statement, 30 May 1995.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Ministerial Statement

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Sport and Recreation): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on Government support for sport and recreation.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: Today I would like to speak about the support and initiatives for sport and recreation that this Government will be pursuing in its first term of office. The Government has already begun work to fulfil a number of the election commitments contained within our policies on sport and recreation in the ACT. Our policy statement noted that sport and recreation are an integral part of life in the Canberra region and of great social and economic value to the ACT. A recent Australian Bureau of Statistics survey showed that almost 40 per cent of Canberrans, 15 years and over, are involved

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