Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1714 ..
MRS CARNELL (continuing):
We would provide assistance to projects in the information and technology areas - areas that have shown significant job growth in Canberra in recent years ...
That is Ms Follett's own budget response. To me, that signalled Labor's support for a major new advanced technology project such as AOFR. This agreement with Australian Optic Fibre Research is a breakthrough for the ACT's growing high-tech industry. The company rejected options to relocate interstate after negotiations with this Government. AOFR is planning to purchase a lease at the Symonston high-tech manufacturing estate and the Government has agreed to grant an adjoining block of similar size, subject, of course, to the tabling of the instrument in this Assembly. As well as direct employment gains of several hundred jobs, there will be many more flow-on effects on employment and support services.
Ms Follett has criticised this deal repeatedly, despite her statements about investment and support for advanced technology. If there is one thing I cannot take, it is hypocrisy. So, let me quote from a media release issued by Ms Follett on 28 September 1993:
Chief Minister Rosemary Follett has announced that one of Australia's most prominent space technology companies, Auspace, will remain in Canberra.
Hear, hear! The media release continued:
This follows the Government's decision to provide Auspace with an Industry Assistance Package worth $250,000 to help the company expand its research, development and manufacturing programs in the ACT.
In accepting the assistance package, Auspace turned down several lucrative offers to relocate interstate.
Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This goes pretty close to a ministerial statement, I think.
MR SPEAKER: I understood that the Chief Minister was quoting from somebody else's media release. I am not in error there, am I?
Mr Berry: One expects that the standing orders would be observed in relation to the requirement that the answers be reasonably brief.
MR SPEAKER: Continue, Chief Minister.
MRS CARNELL: The press release went on:
Ms Follett says the decision to provide Industry Assistance to Auspace means more jobs will be created both directly and indirectly in the ACT.