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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 August 2016) . . Page.. 2472 ..

MR HINDER: Chief Minister, what is the ACT government doing to support that growth?

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry; could you repeat that, Mr Hinder, because I did not hear what you said.

MR HINDER: Certainly, Madam Speaker: Chief Minister, what is it that the ACT government is doing to support that growth?

MR BARR: We continue to support jobs growth in areas where our economy has a competitive advantage. In renewable energy, we have committed to powering the ACT on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020. This is attracting providers from around the country and around the world and creating new jobs in our city. We are driving the growth of higher education, research and skills. We have supported the University of Canberra to compete with the world’s best. We have opened a new CIT campus in Tuggeranong.

Our partnership with Data61 gives us a strategic advantage through an innovation ecosystem for ICT and e-government. We are supporting the local cyber-security sector as a unique national capability here in Canberra. The Canberra innovation network is already generating spin-offs and new start-ups in the incubation stage. Our local industry advocate has been working hard to ensure that local businesses make the most of the opportunity for federal government procurement, the federal government being the biggest single purchaser of goods and services in this country, particularly in the defence area. We have recently become members of the medical research commercialisation fund, investing over half a million dollars into the territory’s research sector. We are bringing the higher education and health sectors together by building a new teaching hospital at the University of Canberra.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Burch.

MS BURCH: How will international flights impact on that growth?

MR BARR: Research by Independent Economics shows that daily services between Singapore and Canberra will generate an additional 690 full-time jobs. We are already seeing the benefits of strengthened ties with our new sister city, Wellington, as our local businesses are now well placed to develop new connections through the Canberra and Wellington business chambers.

International flights are a game changer and they support the growth of some of our most important industries. Our businesses and research institutions will benefit from stronger international connections. New freight opportunities open up not just for Canberra but the broader region and that will benefit businesses and consumers alike.

We will take advantage of this new opportunity through the establishment of the Commissioner for International Engagement. The commissioner will focus our efforts and help make sure that our businesses can take full advantage of the opportunities that these new direct flights will offer.

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