Page 1632 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013
for goods and services produced by ACT firms. A key focus will be on Asia, notably South-East Asia, in keeping with the national Asian century white paper. A focus will also be on the United States, where the market for government services is worth over $1 trillion. To put some perspective on this, the market for government services in the United States is roughly the same size as the entire Australian economy. So accessing just a fraction of this market is a fantastic result for local businesses.
This trade development focus over the next 12 months will include return visits to the United States as a follow-up to the successful trade mission that I led in 2011. Preparation is underway within the Centre for Exporting Government Solutions to work with a cohort of new companies to prepare market development plans for North American public sector markets. Further trade development activities will be focused on China and India, and a potential return to Indonesia has also been flagged. And in the short term I can advise that the ACT government is supporting nine Canberra filmmakers, through Trade Connect, to travel to France this week to pitch locally made feature films at the prestigious Cannes film festival.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, from Jakarta you went to Singapore to talk to airlines. Did you manage to secure international flights from Singapore to the ACT?
MR BARR: Whilst in Singapore I launched invest in Canberra, met with Changi Airport, the Indonesian tourism and economic development minister, Scoot airlines and the Singapore Tourism Board. As this was an initial visit and the first opportunity to meet with each of those organisations and to launch invest in Canberra, it was never intended that we would secure international flights on that first visit. However, I met today with Canberra Airport, who will be undertaking a follow-up visit in the near future, and it is my intention to be back in Singapore again later this year in order to follow up on a number of the investment opportunities that we began to develop in this first 48-hour visit.
ACTEW Corporation Ltd—dividend payments
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, Mr Mark Sullivan stated on 23 April at the ICRC public forum:
The draft report, if implemented, would likely result in an accounting impairment of several hundreds of millions of dollars to ACTEW Corporation. This will lead to the end of dividend payments for several years and will create significant budgetary questions for the ACT government that can only be solved by higher taxes or reduced services.
Treasurer, is it true that the implementation of the draft report would see the end of dividend payments to the ACT from ACTEW for several years, as Mr Sullivan has said.
MR BARR: That is a possible outcome, yes.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.