Page 2026 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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MR SMYTH: Minister, what strategies does your government have to support the ACT’s building and construction industry to ensure its future viability?

MR BARR: We have a vibrant capital works program of our own, in the order of about $1.7 billion over the forward estimates. Of course, we will make further announcements in relation to our own capital program in the budget next month.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what support is your government offering to the building and construction industry employees affected by the decline in the building and construction industry?

MR BARR: I think it is important to recognise the inherent strength of that industry regardless of decisions taken or not taken in the commonwealth budget last night. It still remains around 10 per cent of the territory economy and there are, of course, a number of large projects that will continue into the next fiscal year, not just funded by the commonwealth government but funded by the territory government and funded by the private sector. Work will, of course, continue in the private sector, supported by the territory government.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what are you doing to advocate for a commonwealth building and construction program that will better support the construction industry?

MR BARR: The government’s focus is in fact on securing new private investment into the territory economy. My recent trade mission to Singapore and the launching of invest in Canberra was focused on international—

Mr Hanson: What did you secure?

MR BARR: I only launched the project a few weeks—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson and Mr Coe, can you desist from interjecting, please.

MR BARR: I only launched invest in Canberra a matter of weeks ago, but I am pleased to advise members that since the launch I have had two follow-up meetings. One Singaporean investor was in Canberra only a few days ago and dropped by to see me, to further discussions on investment possibilities.

Mr Wall: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order. Can you sit down please, Mr Barr.

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