Page 2471 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 9 August 2016

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MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr on the question of explaining the process of how change of use charge is administered freely and fairly.

MR BARR: I would note that there have been a number of assertions of exactly the same kind made by the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow treasurer that will not go unchallenged and that they have made similar aspersions on the integrity of those on this side of the chamber on repeated occasions. So the same standards that you have just applied to me will also be applied—

MADAM SPEAKER: Answer the question directly, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: to those opposite. That is exactly how—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: this place should work.


MR HINDER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what did the 2016-17 budget identify as the most important drivers of job growth in the ACT economy over the next decade?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Hinder for the question. It is very pleasing to be able to report that employment growth in the territory was 1.5 per cent in the 2015-16 year—3,100 new jobs created over the past 12 months—and our unemployment rate has fallen and now stands at 3.6 per cent, which is the lowest in the country.

New jobs are being created in areas of service exports growth. We have seen our service exports increase by 16.2 per cent in 2015, the fastest growth rate of service exports of any jurisdiction in Australia. Our service exports now contribute $1.6 billion to the territory economy. This outstanding result was driven by growth in international education exports of 10 per cent in 2015, bringing their total value to $451 million. International tourism exports also grew in 2015, increasing by 5.1 per cent to reach $208 million. Technical, trade-related and other business services such as engineering services also grew strongly. The export of these services increased by a massive 35 per cent in 2015 to $165 million.

The government’s business development strategy, confident and business ready, has been guiding our efforts to see these jobs continue to grow. That is why I am confident that we will see jobs growth in the future in industry sectors like renewable energy, higher education and research, ICT and e-government, health, sports science, tourism, defence and cyber security. It is growth in these sectors that will provide opportunities for Canberrans to find good jobs into the future.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hinder.

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