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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3047 ..

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I was saying, our city truly is our nation’s higher education and research capital. It is why we are actively supporting institutions and developing key new capability areas: the national agriculture and environmental sciences precinct at Black Mountain, the sports cluster and the health cluster at the University of Canberra, the space cluster at Mount Stromlo and at UNSW Canberra, the ICT and e-government cluster at NICTA and the cyber security cluster at UNSW Canberra. Each of these capability areas offers tremendous opportunities for the development of new industries and jobs in our 21st century knowledge economy.

Driving business innovation is as important as working with the institutions to maximise their economic impact for Canberra, and that is why the role of the CBR Innovation Network is so important at bringing together the research sector and our business community. As Dr Bourke has outlined, an additional $300,000 per year for the next two years to the network will help it build on its great body of success since its launch, such as: the 161 per cent increase in members of the Entry 29 co-working space, the doubling in the number of the GRIFFIN Accelerator participants, the programs that have been run for young entrepreneurs, Indigenous business and ex-public servants, and the launch of the KILN incubator in July.

Given our position as the highest performing jurisdiction on both innovation and entrepreneurship, the opportunity to develop an even stronger innovation ecosystem is the key to creating wealth and jobs. Further supporting our local businesses’ ability to seize new opportunities to grow is our approach to creating the right business environment. We are continuing a proactive program of red tape reduction and of regulatory reform aimed at making sure we get out of the way of business and allow them to grow wherever practical. The creation of Access Canberra is a key example of how we are making it simpler and easier to do business in Canberra through streamlined processes for compliance and regulation.

As I have said many times, this government is all about fostering a culture of finding a hundred ways to get a good business idea off the ground, not a hundred reasons to say no. We are also actively promoting opportunities that exist in our city to investors around the world, and so far that has included China, Singapore and Hong Kong, highlighting opportunities that exist in our tourism and higher education sectors. Later this year I will be taking a business delegation to the United States and Japan to reinforce our ties with those markets. All of these actions show that the ACT government is ensuring that Canberra remains a competitive and attractive business destination.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.34): This is a very interesting motion from Dr Bourke, and I actually wonder whether he read his own motion before he tabled it. Paragraph (2)(a) calls on the government to continue to:

ensure Canberra’s business environment remains competitive and attractive for local, interstate and national businesses by implementing the Confident and Busy Ready strategy;

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