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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4820 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

Members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Resume your seat. Mr Corbell, direct your comments through the chair. Members of the opposition will cease interjecting.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, what the opposition is saying, in marked contrast to the government's position, is: undermine the retail hierarchy, undermine the capacity and the investment decisions that have been made by both building owners and small business operators in group centres, local centres and town centres for the past 30 years and just allow development to happen wherever you like. That is what they are proposing.

In contrast, what the government is proposing is releasing land in existing, established and formally recognised retail centres to improve competition and improve access to cheaper groceries for all Canberrans.

Business delegation to United States

MR HARGREAVES: Can the Deputy Chief Minister inform the house of the outcomes of his recent business delegation to the United States?

MR QUINLAN: This government went to the election in 2001 with a policy of building a knowledge-based economy within the ACT. The main purpose of the recent visit to the United States was to support eight ACT companies which were attending the Australian-New Zealand Technology Showcase Conference in Silicon Valley. It was a conference of Australian and New Zealand companies in the embryonic stage with good ideas or good processes to sell and in need of partners or finance.

Of the 43 companies represented at the showcase, eight were from the ACT, a disproportionately high representation. The eight ACT companies really shone in terms of their presentation. I have to mention the assistance of Greg Woods of Australian Business Ltd, who was also there and who went through a process of preparing each of these companies for their presentations. The quality of the presentations and the quality of the ideas and processes put forward by ACT firms shone amongst those presented at the showcase.

I can inform the house that several of the companies which presented had, by the end of the first day of presentations, firm connections. At a function that evening, one of our representatives just could not escape a couple of American gentlemen who were associated with defence procurement; they just followed him all round the room. A couple of the other companies have made very solid contacts as a result of that showcase.

While in the United States we had the opportunity to meet with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and Larta, which was formerly known as the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance, and its investment bank, Fidelys. These organisations are charged with building and are working actively to build the knowledge industries within their jurisdiction. Los Angeles is quite a large place and it would be easy for us to conclude that we are a bit too small and walk away, but there are lessons to be learned from the smart cities in developing areas.

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