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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 September 2015) . . Page.. 3422 ..

our other north Asian partners—those being Korea and Japan—and these agreements with Korea, Japan and China could be worth $24.4 billion in additional income to Australia between 2016 and 2034. Some of the estimates I have been given from my federal colleague Andrew Robb’s office are that the free trade agreement will create almost 6,000 jobs in 2016, peaking at almost 15,000 new jobs in 2020. We want some of those here in the ACT. We certainly want to get our share of that.

With that, members, I trust you will support the motion. I trust that we as an Assembly can endorse what was done in 2000 and that we can say in 2015 that we are just as dedicated to furthering the sister city relationship between the two and we hope to see it prosper, thrive and bring the rewards for both communities that it justly should.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (3.30): I thank Mr Smyth for raising this motion today. It certainly reiterates many of the points that I raised in this place last month when I reinforced the significance of Canberra’s sister city relationship with Beijing and China’s cultural and economic importance to Canberra more broadly.

All of the points that Mr Smyth has requested that the Assembly note in relation to the significance of Canberra’s relationship with China are, indeed, points that I outlined in this Assembly in August, so I am happy to note and indeed reiterate those points. Canberra’s Chinese community is an essential part of what makes our city such a great place to live. I acknowledge the vital role that Canberra’s Chinese community has played in our inclusive, welcoming and multicultural community. We also warmly welcome many visitors from China—in fact, more visitors than from any other country.

Much of the remainder of Mr Smyth’s motion largely reads as if it was copied verbatim from my recent statements regarding our city’s positive ongoing relationship with Beijing, and China. In the spirit in which that is offered we are very happy to voice our support in the Assembly today for the Canberra-Beijing sister city relationship and emphasise the important and beneficial relationship there is between our two cities.

It is certainly not in argument at all that Canberra’s sister city relationship with Beijing has been positive and rewarding. I repeat: the interest and generosity that the Beijing municipal government and the community have bestowed upon Canberra has been very much appreciated by our government and by the people of Canberra. The Beijing Olympic torch relay in 2008 was a highlight for our city, putting Canberra in the world spotlight. That Beijing chose to share that honour with Canberra, and no other Australian city, is truly reflective of the high regard in which they too see our sister city relationship.

The magnificent Beijing gardens on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin are another impressive addition to Canberra’s cultural diversity. This centenary gift for our city from the Beijing municipal government celebrating the sister city relationship is a people-to-people city gift that is able to be used and appreciated by every Canberran,

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