Page 231 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2006

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The campaign that we will launch will, to some extent, leverage off the success of the Australian Capital Tourism’s see yourself in the national capital, Canberra, campaign. We will be basically doubling up, to the extent that we will be running a campaign about seeing yourself living and working in Canberra. It will be a trial. I am aware of some of the experiences of other places in Australia, notably Adelaide in relation to campaigns to seek to attract people to live and work in Adelaide, which have run into some road bumps along the way.

MS PORTER: Chief Minister, what support has the government received from the business community in developing the campaign?

MR STANHOPE: As I said earlier, this is very much a genuine partnership between the ACT government and the business sector within the ACT. I do not think there is a single key industry group or business group that has not willingly and enthusiastically agreed to be part of this trial of a campaign in Sydney to attract people to live and work in the ACT. It bodes particularly well for its success that every peak industry organisation not only recognises the issue we have in relation to skill shortages but is prepared to work with the government to seek to do something about it through this particular campaign.

To the extent that it is not all that usual—and I applaud the nature of the relationship and the strength of the responses that we have received—to date, we have 15 private sector partners, each of whom is contributing $10,000 to the campaign. We are continuing to receive expressions of interest. It has got to the stage now where we continue to be approached by organisations and businesses wanting to be a part of this joint campaign, this partnership. We currently have 15 organisations that have committed $10,000 each. Those are organisations, as you would expect, across the business sector and all the sectors in business that are struggling to some extent as a result of the skill shortages. That is tremendous.

I am very happy to name each of them today. I look forward to doing that later when the campaign is bedded down. We are still taking on additional partners from the university sector, the construction industry and the real estate industry. Even licensed clubs have signed up and are participating and are reaching into their own pockets. It is great that they are being so enthusiastic and so supportive and essentially reaching into their own pockets and the pockets of their organisations. It is a fantastic result, recognising an issue which we, as a community, face, that the government has been so successful through this particular idea, this particular campaign, in attracting such broad-based support from the business sector for what it is that we are seeking to achieve.

We are running it strategically. It is very focused. We are focused on particular areas in Sydney. There will be a detailed advertising campaign over a month. We will case-manage each of the respondents. One of the difficulties always with campaigns of this order—advertising is the easy bit—is the follow up; it is case-managing those that express an interest, keeping them involved and interested and providing that bit of support that might lead to them making a positive decision. Those are the issues we are working on through the creation of a distinct website and a determination to have in place the resources to case-manage each of the responses that we receive.

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