Page 5173 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, if you are not able to substantiate your claim, will you retract your statement and apologise for misleading the community?

MS GALLAGHER: No, because I have not. I have explained the context when I made those comments and that remains on the record. I was not invited to your fundraiser—mind you, I would not have paid $70 to have lunch with the Liberal Party—and I was asked to comment on some promises that were made. The journalist did not have any idea really about the detail that had been provided and I was saying, in context, that if you are going to make promises that will be in the millions and could exceed $10 million you need to say where the money is coming from. And that challenge remains with you.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Minister, did you or your office have any contact with the Treasurer or his office or Minister Corbell or his office before you made those claims?

MS GALLAGHER: Not that I recall.

Business—export market

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, can you advise the Assembly on what the government is doing to better highlight the capabilities of Canberra companies to international business markets?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. The government continues its focus of working in partnership with the ACT Exporters Network to promote the opportunities for Canberra businesses to grow our export market. Next week a trade mission of eight Canberra-based companies will be in Washington with an aim of winning a greater share of the trillion dollar US public sector market.

Canberra businesses have a unique skillset in areas of government service delivery. These include specialist skills in water policy management and technology, smart grid technologies, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, emergency management, information and cyber security, information management and smart records, and defence security and technology.

Part of the ACT government’s role, supported by Austrade, is to help local businesses enter into international markets. A very large international market is the US public sector market. Perhaps it is not that well known that this market for government services in the US is bigger than the entire Australian economy. So we are taking the opportunity, with the assistance of Austrade, to bring our suppliers together with the US government.

Earlier this year I launched the exporting services to government pilot and urged local companies to consider being part of the program, which is supported by next week’s

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