Page 496 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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ways with the ACT business and research community and it has attracted more than $3 million in contract research and grant income during the 2010-11 financial year.

MS HUNTER: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, is this one of the strategies you are pursuing in order to diversify the economy?

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members! We do not need conversation.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hanson interjecting—


MR BARR: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I am, indeed, delighted that we have been able to continue the ACT government’s investment in NICTA.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Members! Mr Barr has the floor, thank you.

Mr Smyth interjecting—


MR BARR: I do note the interjections of the great diversifier over there, the man who is big on the talk but very weak on the action. If we are looking for very practical examples of where the ACT government can make strategic investments, not only to improve the efficiency of our own service delivery but also to strengthen the ACT economy in areas where we have a distinct comparative advantage—and undoubtedly research and development in the ICT sector is such an area—this decision I would hope would be warmly welcomed by all in the chamber.

I know there will be the usual level of cynicism from the great diversifier, but it is important to recognise that the government has made this decision. It is a Labor government that has continued to invest in this sector. It will always be a Labor government that puts the interests of the ACT economy ahead of the interests of narrow sectional interests that Mr Smyth, the great diversifier, seeks to support through his usual carpetbagging activities.


MR SPEAKER: I would like to acknowledge in the gallery today that we have five graduates from the ACT Treasury Directorate. I would like to welcome you to the Assembly and wish you luck in your career in the ACT public service.

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