Page 2255 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

budgets to maintain a very high level of discretionary spending. We are seeing this particularly in areas like household goods and expenditure in cafes, restaurants and other areas of hospitality.

Consumer spending and business confidence are two very good indicators of how well people feel the economy is working for them, and a sustained period of strong retail trade and consistently high business confidence since the last territory election indicates that Canberrans agree with Deloitte’s assessment that we are, indeed, in a sweet spot.

We will, of course, continue to monitor all economic indicators closely, including wage growth, because we know that secure jobs and wages make the biggest difference to Canberrans sharing the gains of economic growth.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, What are the strongest performing sectors of the ACT economy, and how is this contributing to the growth of local jobs?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cody for the supplementary. We are seeing very strong growth across a diverse range of sectors. The property sector grew by seven per cent last year. Construction expanded by five per cent. Together these sectors employ almost 19,000 Canberrans. Strong growth will help safeguard these jobs and create new ones in these industries.

Importantly too we have seen exceptionally strong growth in our export oriented sectors, tourism and higher education being two very good examples. Domestic overnight expenditure is up more than 16 per cent on last year. Spending by international tourists is up 28 per cent. The tourism and recreation sector, as a component within the broader sector, employs nearly 7,000 Canberrans, up from 3,000 only three years ago.

Our higher education and research sector has been the standout, though, now accounting for a third of our city’s service exports and supporting around 16,000 local jobs. Our plan, which we are delivering through the 2017 budget and with the policies we are adopting, is to continue to diversify the territory’s economy and to invest in areas where we have strong growth potential. I highlighted on budget day, and I highlight again today, that the higher education sector has the strongest capacity for rapid growth into the future.

My government will do everything it possibly can to support the expansion of our city’s universities. We are seeing that at ANU, we are seeing it at UC, we are seeing it through the work we are undertaking at the Canberra Institute of Technology and we will continue to support the rapid growth of higher education in this city so that Canberra can rightly be Australia’s education capital.

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—safety

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Children and Youth. Minister, the Canberra Times reported last month that the investigation into the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video