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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1477 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, ongoing funding has also been provided to the ACT business incentive scheme to support interest payments on business loans and to assist businesses wishing to relocate to the ACT or seeking to expand their existing ACT operations and employment base. As a part of its commitment to the "Creating our Future" strategy, the Government will develop strategies to support specific industries that offer substantial jobs growth potential in the future, such as in the areas of information and advanced technology, environmental industries and the services sector. For example, the Government will further develop its proactive strategy aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of establishing call centres in Canberra - an industry that is projected to grow by 25 per cent per year over the next five years.

Through the ACT Business Link, the ACT Government will continue to fund the provision of business information, referral and advisory services to small- and medium-sized business operators, and potential business operators, in the ACT. ACT Business Link will support the establishment, operation and development of business enterprises in the Territory.

Mr Speaker, the number of initiatives and programs under way in the ACT to support and improve the environment for small business means that the future of small business in the ACT region is an exciting one. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (3.46): Mr Speaker, I am surprised that neither the crossbenches nor the Opposition are interested in small business.

Mr Stanhope: Speak for yourself, Minister.

MR MOORE: I would have thought that a response would be forthcoming on small business. Perhaps I was too quick. Perhaps Mr Stanhope was seeking to adjourn the debate and to debate the subject properly in due time. It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that the proposition put up by the Government and the Chief Minister on small business, on this range of issues, is something - - -

Mr Stanhope: You are not being adversarial, are you, Michael?

MR MOORE: No, I am not, Mr Stanhope. This is something we should be able to share. We should be able to get a nonpartisan approach to it. That is why I am making sure that we do not miss the opportunity to invite you to share in this. We are all very conscious that, according to the notice paper, we have a very busy day, so I am going to be brief. I invite you, Mr Stanhope, to adjourn this debate. Then we can discuss it and ensure that we get a nonpartisan approach to the issues of small business, because they are so critical to this Territory.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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