Page 754 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Treasurer, what are the particular initiatives and/or projects that the government is focusing on?

MR BARR: Among the key projects and policies to boost growth and investment, one of the government’s key priorities is transformational infrastructure projects. As I have just noted, the Chief Minister will be particularly focusing on the city to the lake project, with a view to attracting potential investment from China in this important project. City to the lake is a unique investment opportunity, given that it is a decade-long, multi-billion-dollar project which includes a convention centre, a multipurpose stadium, a new aquatic centre, office, residential and retail space, as well as a vastly improved interface with Lake Burley Griffin. Given its scale, city to the lake will clearly require a number of significant investment partners, which the Chief Minister and I will be encouraging whilst in China and Singapore respectively.

In addition, the Chief Minister will highlight the investment opportunities in capital metro, another transformational project for the city. The Chief Minister will be outlining the government’s plans to develop the light rail corridor to a wide range of investors in order to further boost the profile of the project and attract investment interest.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what representations is the government making to the commonwealth about fostering growth in the ACT?

MR BARR: Clearly, employment from the commonwealth accounts for about a third of the workforce in the territory and, as such, the forthcoming commission of audit and commonwealth budget will have a significant impact on our economy. The scale of potential job cuts in the ACT is relatively greater and it will have a more immediate impact, for example, than the motor vehicle production shutdowns will have on the Victorian and South Australian economies.

I raised these concerns directly with the commonwealth Treasurer on behalf of the ACT at the council on federal financial relations held here in Canberra on 28 March. I have also sought a specific commitment from the commonwealth for it to consider the potential for a disproportionate impact on the territory of its own decisions and to consider options to mitigate this effect, such as an appropriate phasing of changes to allow time for the market to respond, or locating new government bodies within the ACT to take advantage of spare employment capacity.

The Chief Minister has also made similar representations to federal ministers, most recently in her meeting with the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs, at which she was accompanied by representatives from the Canberra business community.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

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