Page 4645 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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The committee will not be taking further action on these petitions but will continue to engage with the Minister for the Arts and Community Events on arts funding as part of the annual reports process.

Ministerial delegation to the United States

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.48): As members are aware, the ACT government is committed to the diversification of Canberra’s economy and believes that promoting Canberra opportunities and capabilities to potential partners is a key role for the territory government. Across some of Canberra’s key industry development fronts there are no bigger potential partners than in the United States. But before I move on to the specifics of the recent ministerial delegation, I want to provide members with the thinking behind this particular trip.

A recent report by KPMG found that defence expenditure in Canberra directly contributes $3.5 billion per annum to our city’s economy and employs over 14,500 people. When indirect benefits are taken into account, the total contribution rises to over $4.3 billion per annum with over 25,000 jobs. Whilst Canberra has a broad range of defence capabilities, for example CEA Technologies, which was recently awarded a $148 million contract for updating the radar on the existing Anzac class frigates, and Electro Optic Systems amongst many, the government believes that Canberra is particularly suited to playing a major role in particular areas. In highlighting these two companies, I note the Australian government has allocated $17 billion in capital expenditure over the next decade to build sovereign capability in electronic warfare, space and cyber technology streams.

Then there is the Canberra space sector and its role in the omnipresent space economy. Over the past two years the ACT government has played a leadership role in the development of the Australian space industry, having raised the issue on two occasions at the COAG industry and skills council as well as working with the South Australian and Northern Territory governments to directly lobby the commonwealth for more active support for the development of a downstream industry in Australia.

Our “Team Canberra” stand at the recent International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide included the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales Canberra, EOS Space Systems, Northrop Grumman and Geospatial Intelligence and demonstrated the collaborative nature of the space industry in Canberra. The announcement by the commonwealth government at the International Astronautical Congress that it would be establishing an Australian space agency was warmly welcomed by the ACT government and our partners. However, establishing a space agency is only one part of the battle; the next job is to ensure that it has a strong operational presence in Canberra and, even more importantly, that our space capabilities are the centre of the development of the space industry.

My trip to the United States focused on raising Canberra’s profile as an investment destination for defence, cyber security and the space sector. Our trip built on meetings

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