Page 2677 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 15 August 2017

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The University of New South Wales Canberra has been here for 50 years. Today’s announcement that we will develop an MOU and seek to significantly expand their presence will attract hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment to Canberra and create thousands and thousands of opportunities for students, researchers and employment. (Time expired.)

MS ORR: Chief Minister, how does a growing higher education sector align with the government’s stated priorities?

MR BARR: I have been saying for some time now that the higher education sector in Canberra cannot grow fast enough. Today’s announcement of a new campus for our city demonstrates that we are moving quickly to achieve these important policy outcomes and greater economic diversification for Canberra. The higher education and research sector is Canberra’s single largest export earner. It is an industry that has significant potential in the ACT. It already contributes close to $3 billion annually and employs 16,000 Canberrans. One in nine of us in this city either works or studies at one of our city’s higher education institutions. This is a critical industry for the ACT.

We are delighted to work with UNSW Canberra, which has been here for 50 years already, to significantly expand their presence as part of what will be a fantastic new education precinct on the eastern edge of our CBD. The area in question is within the purview of the City Renewal Authority. In establishing the authority for city renewal, I was very clear that the government’s priority would be to renew the city. That is exactly what we are doing—attracting new jobs and new investment to Canberra. It is a wonderful outcome for our city and, combined with the Microsoft investment, sets forward a very clear path for significant investment and growth in the territory economy.

MR STEEL: Chief Minister, what does an investment like that announced by Microsoft and Canberra Data Centres mean for Canberra?

MR BARR: This investment will see Microsoft deliver a world-class, secure and innovative open cloud platform that will ensure the digital transformation of Australian governments at federal, state and territory and local levels. It is an investment that demonstrates to the world that Canberra is a hub for innovation in cloud technology and services in a market sector that is becoming increasingly crucial for business, for individuals and governments around the world.

This announcement follows in the footsteps of recent successes for some of Canberra’s own successful ICT companies, including software developer Intelledox, which announced in May this year that it had secured $4 million in growth capital funding from Ellerston Ventures, recognising Intelledox’s unique customer focus and data-driven technology offering.

That investment followed last year’s acquisition of the online transaction business eWAY for $US50 million by the US payment technology services giant Global Payments. These successes demonstrate that Canberra continues to develop and has developed world-quality products and world-quality innovators, and the establishment

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