Page 209 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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I have had the opportunity to meet with the Access Canberra team this week to get a sense of the feedback and the engagement so far. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that it has been very positive. There is, of course, more work to do, and the Access Canberra team know they have a big task ahead of them. But the cultural change we are seeking is happening, and the practical change from the perspective of a business or individual in the community is that there is now a one-stop shop, and that is important.

Having an agency like Access Canberra enables us to quickly identify inefficient regulations and to provide advice on changes that are needed. Already Access Canberra is making a difference to individual businesses. Through cooperative work across many agencies, the process, for example, for applying for outdoor eating permits has been made much easier for business. Now on the ACT government webpage is a simple one-click approach to finding out all there is to know and making an application if you are in the business of feeding people outdoors. This is just one example of how Access Canberra will make life easier for individuals and businesses in the ACT.

In the coming sitting weeks I look forward to updating the Assembly on further progress that Access Canberra has made to cut red tape and to make life easier for small businesses in the territory.

To conclude my comments this afternoon, I want to acknowledge the importance of continued policy development in relation to the government’s business development strategy. As I said in response to a question in question time today, the 2012 document was never intended to be a static document; the policy framework will continue to evolve as certain milestones are achieved and new initiatives are brought forward. As I indicated on Tuesday in my speech on government priorities, we will be updating the business development strategy. We continue our focus, though, on those three strategic imperatives that I outlined at the launch of that policy initiative and have reiterated previously—that is, around the government’s intent to foster the right business environment, support business investment and accelerate business innovation.

As I alluded to in question time today, it is very pleasing to see the announcement of a recent new investor in the ACT economy now taking on a six-year $8 million sponsorship of the ACT Brumbies. The Brumbies were without a sponsor. They are an important part of our community, they employ people, and their activities in our community generate a significant social and economic benefit. It is terrific to see a new entrant, a new investor in the ACT, committing for the long term to a core asset for this community in the Brumbies. That is fantastic to see.

This amendment calls on the ACT government to continue our focus on encouraging investment, maintaining economic activity and, above all, growing jobs in our economy. That is exactly what we will do. We will be single-minded in our determination to attract that investment and to resist all calls from those opposite for an austerity agenda for this community. We are not in the business of slashing jobs, dramatically withdrawing services and not investing in our economy because those opposite have some sort of fetish about deficits. We remain committed to our policy

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