Page 2721 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 15 August 2017
with ensuring that economic development is at the centre of the government’s policy deliberations.
CMTEDD leads the ACT public service. It provides strategic advice and support to me as Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events but also provides advice and support to the Minister for the Arts and Community Events; the Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research; the Minister for Regulatory Services; the Minister for Sport and Recreation; and the Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations. The directorate also supports cabinet by providing advice and support on policy development, budgeting and reporting, financial and economic policy, service delivery, whole-of-government programs and issues, high-value and complex investment development proposals, sport and recreation policies and programs, tourism, government business enterprises and taxation revenue management.
The key initiatives in the directorate funded in this budget include, as we have heard, $15 million to design and construct the next stage of the Belconnen Arts Centre; nearly $15 million over the next four years to continue the implementation of the government’s business development strategy; funding for improvement to Manuka Oval’s broadcast, media and spectator facilities; capital funding to develop a new whole-of-government payroll and human capital management system; capital funding to construct an access road to the new Canberra brickworks precinct; funding to support significant events in the territory; additional funding to support the arts sector, as the minister has outlined; funding to support the growth of the tourism sector; funding to make Canberra an even better place to study; additional funding to support major sporting venues on top of the money provided to the major venues themselves; $1.8 million over the next two years to support reforms stemming from recent legislative changes to the Freedom of Information Act; the establishment of an office for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer affairs; and additional money to support women entering into male-dominated traditional trades and to assist mature-age workers to upskill and re-skill.
So it is a very diverse range of areas supported by the directorate, in addition to its whole-of-government responsibilities.
Madam Assistant Speaker, I will quickly respond to a range of issues that were raised in the debate. Firstly, there was this preposterous suggestion that ACT government policies are driving people away from Canberra. In fact, our population growth has been the fastest of any state or territory over the last five years, and our city has been growing faster than the national average. So the statistics would tend to indicate that in fact Canberra has been able to attract more people than other parts of the country. Assuming that people vote with their feet and have the opportunity to live anywhere in this country, in the last five years more have chosen to live in Canberra, and our growth rate has been faster than any other state or territory.
In relation to commentary around taxation policy and the level of consultation required before any changes to taxation policy, I will issue a note of caution in this regard: it is generally not the case that governments negotiate over taxation policy. I do not think that anyone in this place—though perhaps those on that side of the