Page 515 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017

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could be used to turn into social businesses or, indeed, profit-making businesses, and immediately started working with those people and offering opportunities for them to think about how they would use their existing skills in new ways.

Over the last year CBRIN has worked with the Indigenous business community, and I particularly want to acknowledge Mr Dion Devow from Darkies Designs. On Monday I announced his appointment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body. He is, of course, a very well-known local Indigenous business leader and has helped CBRIN to deliver some of its Indigenous business support programs, including yarning circle events and the trade show I mentioned earlier. Just today I noticed that Christina Ryan from the Disability Leadership Institute tweeted that she had also been meeting with CBRIN about increasing their diversity of activities and leadership.

Across all levels, Sarah Pearson has been an incredible leader of CBRIN. She is going to leave behind an incredible legacy for the ACT when she moves to Newcastle. I would not be at all surprised if, in another couple of years, we see a much greater collaboration between the ACT and the University of Newcastle as a result of Dr Pearson’s move. I have had the privilege of visiting the University of Newcastle and seeing some of the entrepreneurial things that are happening there and some of their innovation activity. I think there could be some great connections, and I would not be at all surprised to see that.

On behalf of the ACT government and here in the Assembly I take this opportunity to wish Dr Pearson all the very best for her move and to thank her very much for the contribution she has made to innovation and entrepreneurship in the ACT.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.58): I thank my colleague Ms Cody for moving this motion in the chamber today. The diversification of the ACT economy plays a vital role in building a positive and stable economic environment here in Canberra. Many of my colleagues have addressed the significant role that small business plays in supporting the ACT economy. I believe it is important to note that the growth of business confidence and investment in the ACT is testament to the Barr Labor government’s support of the public, private, and small business sectors.

Although our economy continues to perform exceptionally well when compared to other jurisdictions, we face unavoidable challenges imposed on us by the commonwealth government. At a time when the Turnbull government is cutting thousands of public service jobs and threatening to move continuing jobs out of the ACT, the task of economic diversification is even more vital to ensure we continue to build a positive and stable economic environment.

Our thriving ACT economy continues to be threatened by the large-scale reduction in public service jobs in our city. I note that members of the Turnbull government continue to attack the stability of jobs in the commonwealth public service in our territory as part of their push to move entire public service agencies out of the ACT. This act of pork-barrelling attempts to reward regional towns for voting for the coalition while at the same time inflicts extreme economic strain on the ACT and will force thousands of public servants out of their jobs.

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