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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 213 ..

Master Builders looks forward to working with the Local Industry Advocate to create opportunities for local firms to compete on a level playing field for the opportunity to deliver the Chief Minister’s vision for iconic infrastructure projects that will underpin a stronger building industry, economic growth, more jobs and increased and a more liveable and connected Canberra community.

I move to Access Canberra, an initiative which I have been talking about with small business people over the last month. This is where the ACT government has brought together a lot of shopfront and regulatory functions in a one-stop shop for licences, approvals and permits. As a former small business owner, I can say that this is a particularly helpful piece of policy which means that instead of going from department to person to inspector to directorate, you can get it all done in the one place. I commend the government for this initiative.

Of course, when we reflect upon the debate we had this morning about what the Liberals are planning to do to Belconnen, to Belconnen small businesses, we can see the most obvious of contrasts between Labor policy and Liberal tragedy.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (5.58): It is disappointing that Mr Rattenbury, the minister responsible, has not seized the opportunity to clarify for members of the Assembly what exactly was provided at the industry briefing, what conditions potential tenderers were told they must adhere to and what opportunities they had to win multiple bodies of work when it came to the mowing package in the ACT. I hope an answer is forthcoming shortly, but it would not surprise me if it is simply dodged and ignored.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR WALL: The Chief Minister had the opportunity in his speech to explain to the Assembly why it is absolutely essential that the business advocate is appointed and why that office is being created. I asked during my speech: what can this advocate do that members of the government and professional members of the ACT public service could not already do or have not already been doing over the past 16 years? It is disappointing that this is another case of rhetoric and promises and yet a lack of substance and physical policy change that will deliver for ACT small businesses.

It seems they are more interested in pursuing the ideological project of a $783 million tram going from the city to Gungahlin that is promising to deliver to the ACT economy an ambitious $1.20 return for every dollar spent. It is also worthy of mentioning at this point the policy the Master Builders have put forward that identifies from their research that every dollar spent in the local construction industry returns 2.9 times that to the ACT economy. When we are talking about to what extent we should be supporting local business and giving them consideration through government procurement processes, the Master Builders would certainly be an authoritative voice when it comes to procurement, tendering and where the economic benefits lie.

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