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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1747 ..

These examples show the importance of this government and this Assembly continuing to promote economic development in the Canberra region by supporting innovation, regional development opportunities and growth in the higher education sector.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (5.31): I thank Dr Bourke for moving this motion today. I welcome the opportunity to speak to it and to outline the action the government is taking to foster a diverse and resilient territory economy. Continuing to grow and diversify our economy is more important now than it has ever been, particularly given the circumstances we find ourselves in, due in no large part to some pretty poor decisions taken by the Abbott government, some of which, pleasingly, were reversed last night.

Growing the economy has long been our major objective in government. This is demonstrated through the business development strategy that I released a number of years ago. Earlier this year I was pleased to report to the Assembly that we have completed all 26 actions that were set out in that first phase of the strategy. The relatively strong position of our economy in 2015 compared to the mid-1990s, even with the loss of jobs as a result of the commonwealth job cuts, is testament to the foresight of the ACT government in fostering a resilient and adaptable private sector.

Over the three years that the business development strategy has been in place our city has gone through a transformation. It has come together and worked together in a time of unprecedented constraint to strategically work towards our shared goals for economic development and growth. We are doing more with less and achieving some incredible results that are putting the city on a path to a very prosperous future.

Industry partnerships have been at the heart of the government’s approach to economic development. This approach has shaped our policy and program responses to reflect local needs and issues. It has been a model that has led to the delivery of a number of programs in partnership with the private sector. We have successfully worked together to deliver programs across a diverse spectrum of the territory economy, including ScreenACT, Canberra BusinessPoint, the ACT Exporters Network, ANU Connect Ventures, the Digital Canberra Challenge and CollabIT.

These programs have been delivered in partnership with a range of organisations: the ACT Screen Industry Association, the ANU, the Canberra Business Chamber and the Australian Information Industries Association. More recently, we have worked with Canberra’s leading research and higher education institutions, including the ANU, UC, UNSW Canberra, NICTA and the CSIRO to create the CBR Innovation Network. This type of partnership is unprecedented in Australia. It is a sign of the commitment and confidence we all have in Canberra’s innovation system, with each of these institutions in the network as well as the government having contributed funding to support the venture.

While the contribution of funding by participants to the initiative has been an important part of the innovation network, the ability to leverage the depth and breadth

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