Page 5114 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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access to electricity in Civic Square. Why did the ACT government deny the greyhound industry rally access to electricity in Civic Square?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Parton for the question. I will take the question on notice and endeavour to get a reply to him as soon as possible. I am not aware of the assumption that Mr Parton made in his question, but I will take the question on notice.

MR PARTON: Is the minister aware of any other denial of access to electricity for rallies in Civic Square?

MS FITZHARRIS: No, I am not aware.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what actions will you take to ensure that community rallies in Civic Square will have access to electricity in future no matter whether they are for or against government policy?

MS FITZHARRIS: I understand that approvals sought by organisations, groups and individuals to hold public events are relevant to a number of different departments. The government always seeks to facilitate as speedily and as smoothly as possible approval for such events. Again, I will come back to the Assembly with any further information.


MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has recently released the final state accounts for 2016-17. What do these show about the state of our local economy?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. In what was a round of excellent releases from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in that week, I can advise the Assembly that the latest data on the ACT’s economic growth confirms what Canberrans can see and feel: that our city is going from strength to strength.

In 2016-17, our city’s real gross state product expanded by 4.6 per cent. This was the highest growth rate of any jurisdiction in Australia and well up on our prior projections. It was significantly higher than the territory’s 10-year average growth rate of 3.2 per cent. It also comes on the back of an upwardly revised growth for the 2015-16 fiscal year, demonstrating that Canberra is undergoing a sustained economic expansion.

Importantly, the growth came from a diverse range of sectors that point to a continued broadening of the territory’s economic base. The stand-out was professional, scientific and technical services, which grew by 34 per cent in the past year and contributed more than half of our total GSP growth. However, we have also seen strong growth in the IT and telecommunications sector, which grew by more than 11 per cent, along with an expansion of the construction, healthcare and social assistance sectors.

Strong and sustained growth is good for Canberra businesses because it creates more opportunities for them to expand. It benefits Canberra workers because it creates more

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