Page 262 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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Canberra and we want to continue to work with them to broaden their network of routes serving Canberra, not just to Melbourne but to other major Australian cities.

In late November, Qatar Airways announced their intention to commence direct services between Canberra and Doha in the 2017-18 financial year. This demonstrates the success of the partnership between the ACT government and the Canberra airport group around building awareness of the infrastructure and possibilities that the new international airport terminal offers.

We knew that attracting the first flight—(Time expired.)

MR PETTERSSON: Chief Minister, what benefits do direct international lights bring to Canberra?

MR BARR: They bring a range of benefits, and we certainly knew when we attracted the first flight—the first airline—that that would raise awareness and see other airlines wanting to enter into the market. We have also seen the benefits of growth in low cost carriers and in regional airlines flying to Canberra. Whilst a lot of attention has been focused on the international and new capital city services, it is also worth acknowledging and thanking FlyPelican for their work in connecting Canberra to Newcastle and now to Dubbo.

The benefits are significant for our economy. Independent Economics have undertaken research for the ACT government that shows that the Singapore-Canberra route generates $88 million per annum in gross regional product for the Canberra catchment and around 690 full-time jobs are created. We also see that group undertaking similar analysis of services between Canberra and the Middle East, and their estimation is that that will generate a further $101 million per annum in gross regional product and support the creation of nearly 800 additional full-time jobs. The research shows that new daily low cost domestic carrier services generate an extra $17 million in GRP for the Canberra region and an additional 124 full-time jobs.

Beyond those economic benefits, clearly the opportunities for enhancing trade and service delivery through these new transport connections are very significant, and we look forward to additional airlines flying to Canberra and additional routes being serviced over the next four years.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how do additional low-cost and regional flights align with the ACT government’s priorities for Canberra?

MR BARR: The statement of ambition that we outlined earlier this year and our international engagement strategy go to the importance of transport connections for this city into the region, nationally and internationally. It also goes to a fundamental point about how attracting and retaining talented people is central to Canberra’s future. The range of opportunities that these improved transport connections offer us in terms of people being able to base themselves in Canberra and access national and international markets is very important.

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