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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3587 ..

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (8.27): I will be very brief, Mr Speaker. It is very clear that in developed micro-economies of individual cities in this modern world, innovation is going to play a large part in the growth of that economy. Certainly actions are being taken in many areas across the western world to actively promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

I was in Cambridge recently and I was told that talent scouts prowl-not literally but metaphorically-the campus looking for undergraduates who have innovative ideas or entrepreneurial capability. They are virtually recruited into participation in an innovation centre.

I do not have categorical proof but I am prepared to believe that people in this young achiever program are gaining invaluable experience. Young people are given the opportunity to become aware of their innovative capacity and entrepreneurship capabilities. At the end of the day, that in itself may change their lives considerably. They are given the confidence at a young age to pursue a more innovative career or develop an innovative and entrepreneurial enterprise.

Certainly, the region will gain from this sort of process. This is quite clearly a regional program and Young Achievement Australia is to be congratulated for that if nothing else. The others to be congratulated-and I think the winners of the YAA awards have been congratulated sufficiently tonight-are those businesses that have participated in the program. These are the people who provided the advice, the mentors, the consultation with the participants and the sponsorship, and therefore made the program what it is.

As the minister for economic development, I certainly hope to see more of this because the evidence is that economies will have to work very hard just to keep up, and they will have to work very hard to achieve economic growth. Certainly, industries of the future do relate to entrepreneurial activity and innovation. As the world shrinks, we need to be in touch with that movement, and this program goes a long way in connecting us to it.

Ms MacDONALD (8.31), in reply: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank members for their support of the motion. For all the reasons that have been mentioned here this evening, the Young Achievement Australia business skills program is an excellent program.

To show the degree of participation, I would like to mention some of the schools that were involved in the program. The list includes the names of regional schools. Students participating in the program came from the following schools: Batemans Bay High School, Bega High School, Bombala High School, Canberra College, Canberra Grammar (Boys), Canberra Grammar (Girls), Cootamundra High School, Copland College, Daramalan College, Dickson College, Goulburn High School, Hawker College, Hennessy Catholic College, Kooringal High School, Lake Ginninderra College, Lake Tuggeranong College, Leeton TAFE College, Marist College in Canberra, McKillop Catholic College, Merici College, Monaro High School, Mulwaree High School, Narrabundah College, Queanbeyan High School, Radford College, Snowy Mountains Grammar, St Clares College, St Edmunds College, Trinity Senior High School, Wagga Wagga High School, Yass High School and Young High School.

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