Page 3500 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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We have taken a strategic approach and that strategic approach is bearing fruit. That is going to build a solid foundation. We are not immediately going to have Fujitsu here and be the second centre of Fujitsu for the world or something. We got done, didn’t we? We were going to have a large Ansett call centre. We got done, didn’t we? This government is working on building a solid economy. It is not working on building the flashy oncers that were the hallmark of the Carnell government.

We will look at the initiatives Adelaide is trying to take. They went around once before with not a great deal of success and we do not need to be doing what they are doing if it does not work. If their package has become more sophisticated, we will look at what they do and we will look at what people do in other centres around the world to try to build, but I know from what I have studied that if you want to build you have to build solidly, you have to build strategically.

Today, I did an interview with a biotechnology magazine on the venture capital fund into which we put $10 million and which will now be $30 million because of the MTAA. We will have there within the city at least $30 million as a venture capital fund to build on the initiatives that we are promoting through knowledge bank, through our association with the university, through doing sensible things to build the economy and not putting on a show which generally does not amount to anything at the end of the day and which, I am afraid, if that lot got in we would be returning to. Mr Speaker, I move the following amendment:

Omit paragraph (2), substitute:

“(2) recognises the ACT Government’s efforts to:

(a) address the skills shortage in partnership with the business community;

(b) create new and attractive infrastructure, such as City West, in partnership with the ANU and the wider business community; and

(c) make Canberra the most small business friendly jurisdiction in Australia.”.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.11): I will not be supporting Mr Mulcahy’s motion today, as I believe it is based on a number of misconceptions. Similarly, I will not be supporting Mr Quinlan’s amendments, as they do not question Mr Mulcahy’s assumptions. The Greens measure the wellbeing of a city by more than the number of cranes on the skyline. The first misconception in Mr Mulcahy’s motion is that population growth equals economic growth. Population growth does not automatically result in economic growth, nor is it necessary for economic growth. For the first, let us look at India, where population growth has not resulted in economic growth; nor is it necessary for economic growth.

Some of the most prosperous countries are places with relatively small and stable populations. Look at Europe, for instance. At last year’s Symposium on Population and Economic Prosperity, Chris Richardson, from Access Economics, said that participation and productivity are more important than population growth. He went on to argue that the ACT already has high participation and productivity, with the potential to build on those strengths.

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