Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 October 2017) . . Page.. 4680 ..
MR GENTLEMAN: It is a similar answer. That is the policy that was decided by the Suburban Land Agency for purchases of rural blocks. It is important to understand, of course, the complete difference between purchasing Mr Fluffy blocks, where we made a great deal of effort to support the community that was affected by the asbestos in their homes. Indeed, we are well ahead and on track for that to be completed.
MR COE: Minister, why is a higher level of integrity required for the purchasing of Mr Fluffy blocks than for multimillion-dollar rural leases?
MR GENTLEMAN: I disagree with the premise of the question.
MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Pettersson, members can I bring to your attention that in the chamber we have the pleasure of the company of Mr Speaker of our twin parliament in Kiribati, Mr Tebuai Uaai, and his Clerk. Welcome to the Assembly. You are here for a couple of days as part of that twinning program. Take an opportunity to meet as many members as you can and ask all the questions that you can. Thank you and welcome to the Assembly.
Questions without notice
Economy—space industry policy
MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, how is the ACT government pursuing the growth of the space industry in the ACT?
MR BARR: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. Our city has had a long involvement with some of the biggest events in international space exploration. This has led to the creation of a very capable space industry sector in our city with world-class research and education institutions.
Globally the space industry has been growing at over 10 per cent a year in the past two decades but Australia’s performance has generally been well below that international growth benchmark. But with the right approach and policy environment now emerging, Australia and Canberra can quickly make up some of this lost ground. The government’s focus is on getting Canberra at the forefront of the next wave of space industry development both here in Australia and overseas as it will be a key jobs growth sector over the coming decade.
We have driven this agenda through COAG fora and we work closely with other governments to support the development of the Australian space industry. At the local level we are investing in some key projects including the University of New South Wales Canberra’s concurrent mission design facility and the space-based quantum communications jointly led by ANU and UNSW Canberra and involving local companies QuintessenceLabs and Liquid Instruments.
The government is also promoting the Canberra region’s space industry capabilities on the global stage. At the recent international astronomical congress in Adelaide we