Page 680 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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Investment in programs that drive interstate visitation, such as our special event fund, is critical in realising the 2020 potential. I think it is worth reflecting that since I commenced the fund—and we have invested $2.5 million in support of seven completed major blockbuster exhibitions—that $2.5 million investment has delivered more than $220 million in economic value to the territory.

Through Visit Canberra we have invested in innovative and award-winning campaigns, such as the human brochure, which have enabled more than 60 Canberra tourism businesses to showcase their experiences of this city to millions of people. Our hotel occupancy trends have remained very strong and investment in new infrastructure, particularly in the hotel sector, shows the confident and bold approach of our hospitality sector in Canberra.

It is easy to be a naysayer in difficult times, and the current federal government’s policies have clearly caused uncertainty and contributed to a lack of confidence among some sectors. There will always be an impact. But I believe that strong, positive action—in this case, through the government’s business development strategy—can minimise this impact and can allow us to stand on our own two feet as a community and as an economy.

So the government I lead has a world-leading approach to innovation, has made significant investments into Invest Canberra to attract growth, will continue to grow innovative companies that are making a mark nationally and internationally, will work closely with our world-leading higher education and research institutions to significantly grow this sector, to attract national and international students to Canberra, and build on our strengths to further grow our tourism industry. Because of these strategies, we are a much stronger economy than we were 13 years ago. We are much more capable of weathering any storm the federal Liberal government unleashes upon us.

Whilst we have achieved all of the goals that we set ourselves, there is of course always more to be done. And so in the next few months I will be releasing the next phase of our business development strategy that will set new actions and goals. My government is building the right business environment, attracting new investment to Canberra, building on our education sector’s strengths, promoting our exporting companies in overseas markets and driving the development of innovative companies and new entrepreneurs.

We cannot stand still. We cannot hope that everything will fall into place. But I know that we Canberrans should be driving this change to ensure that our city becomes even stronger in the coming decades. Every Canberra family knows this is a great place to raise kids, to live and to work. My government is taking action now to ensure that these same Canberra kids can have Australia’s best jobs and best lifestyle right here in this city.

I present the following papers:

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