Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 November 2017) . . Page.. 5212 ..
16½ thousand jobs—and growing—in the tourism industry and contributing more than $2 billion annually to Canberra’s economy. Again, that is important in the context of youth employment, as a lot of employment in the tourism and hospitality sector supports young people in our city, particularly those who are studying and who need access to some part-time work. It is fantastic to see that this industry continues to grow very strongly.
We are exporting our heads off. Growth in exports out of the ACT is faster than any other state or territory in this country and consistently above the national average throughout this decade now. Why is this important? Because it brings new money into our city and supports more jobs, more highly skilled jobs and ensures that our economy is further insulated against the decisions—often bad decisions—that are made by the commonwealth government on Capital Hill. So the more diverse our economy is and the more growth we see in sectors that are internationally exposed, the better it is for the ACT economy.
We have seen some fantastic new announcements in terms of investment in Canberra: Microsoft expanding its presence here and the University of New South Wales Canberra planning to establish a new university campus for 10,000 students in our city. To put some perspective on this, we have about 45,000 students studying in Canberra now. This is a significant boost to the territory’s single largest export-earning industry in higher education. It is part of Canberra’s economic, cultural and social growth story that we are Australia’s education capital, that we have a very significant emphasis in this city on the value of education not just for its economic outcomes but for what it does socially and culturally. The opportunities it provides citizens locally, nationally and internationally to study in Canberra are a really exciting and wonderful way for Canberra to grow more rapidly into the future.
We see tremendous opportunity in each of those export growth sectors. We see tremendous opportunity for further growth in so many areas of the territory’s economy. But, as we know, we live in more than an economy; we live in a community and a society that need to support each other. Every signal from this community—be it that we are a refugee welcome zone or that we had the highest yes vote for marriage equality—demonstrates the inclusive nature of this community and the great desire for us to take national and international leadership roles in areas that matter. Responding to climate change and ensuring that no-one is left behind in our city are priorities and will remain priorities for our government.
Are there areas for improvement? Of course there are, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that our city delivers more for its residents. But, as we reach the conclusion of the 2017 parliamentary year, it is worth acknowledging the significant legislative and practical and economic gains that we have seen. That is worth celebrating. I commend Mr Pettersson for the motion. (Time expired.)
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.55): I thank Mr Pettersson for the motion, but I think that it goes without saying, to follow on from the comments made by Mr Rattenbury, that there are many other things that could have been put in a motion that reflects on a year’s work by a government that has been in operation for 16 years. This motion reflects the Braddon-based bubble that most of the members of the