Page 4016 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: Let me hear Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Chief Minister, what else is the government doing to support jobs growth in the ACT?

MR BARR: We are supporting a number of areas of the ACT economy that are making significant contributions to employment growth. Our education sector employs nearly 19,000 Canberrans and brings talented people into our city every year. This pipeline of talent is crucial to our city’s future, and one that we will continue to support through a range of government policy interventions to support the rapid growth of our higher education sector. I note that most of those policy interventions were opposed by the Canberra Liberals.

Our visitor economy employs 15,000 people. Our goal is to grow this and its economic contribution from $1.8 billion to $2.5 billion by 2020, by investing in new events for the city, the new city branding, marketing, and working to attract new aviation services. And we are well on our way to achieving that. We have seen significant investment in new hotel stock in the city in recent times. This is a very pleasing response to the government’s initiatives in these areas.

The buildings that we live, work and play in are central to our enjoyment of this city, and our construction industry employs 15,000 Canberrans. Our urban renewal and infrastructure agenda are supporting jobs in this sector. I am very pleased today to be able to commit to a significant boost for the Woden town centre that will attract complementary private sector investment in the town centre for further economic growth for Woden. This is a significant announcement for the economic growth of our town centres.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Chief Minister, how well is this approach working when compared to the rest of Australia?

MR BARR: The starting point for our city is that the Liberal Party in federal government has, in fact, cut 9½ thousand jobs from our city since they were elected—9½ thousand jobs cut from us by the Liberals. This is the best effort and the contribution of the party of recession for this city, the ideological crusade of those opposite to cut jobs in our economy.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: You can see by their response that they are very sensitive about this issue. And so they should be. The Liberals have been very industrious and very busy in the job-cutting business. They are very good at cutting jobs, but they have not made much of a contribution at all to the creation of new jobs in our city.

What is pleasing to see in response to the federal Liberal agenda for Canberra is the state of the Canberra economy. That our state final demand grew by 5.4 per cent in the year to June 2015 is very pleasing. It is the second-strongest result in Australia.

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