Page 3466 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 22 August 2018

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(e) delivering the Family Safety Hub, and investing $6.5 million for more places for women seeking safe and secure refuge as well as $1.7 million for the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and Domestic Violence Crisis Service to ensure women in crisis get the help they need, when they need it; and

(f) improved connectivity and active travel routes, with $10.5 million for the Belconnen Bikeway and $4 million to improve paths around the Tuggeranong Town Centre; and

(3) calls on this Assembly to support the progressive and principled policies in this year’s budget.

All members of this place can agree a strong economy is vital for the future of Canberra. Our government has a clear plan for ensuring Canberra’s economic future. The diverse range of policies and initiatives already put in place by our government are having a positive effect on our economy, along with our investment in increasing services for our growing city. Our higher education, infrastructure and tourism sectors continue to go from strength to strength, with record enrolments, investment and visitors. For a small city, Canberra has a big future, and our Labor government is working towards an inclusive, progressive and connected Canberra with this budget.

Only our ACT Labor government has a progressive, future-orientated vision for our city. In the 2018 budget our government has achieved our 2016 election promise of delivering a balanced budget. This means we are fully covering the cost of delivering services for the Canberrans that we represent while maintaining a strong level of investment in our city. This is despite the savage cuts from the federal Liberal government, who continue to swing the axe through the federal public service and threaten the relocation of hundreds or even thousands of jobs.

Thanks to the investments made by this government, our local economy is continuing to grow strongly. Indeed, this year we are projecting growth of over four per cent. This is the sort of growth that drove the creation of almost 10,000 jobs in 2017. This growth was focused on diversifying our economy, with jobs growing in education, tourism, health, retail, IT and media, defence capabilities, space and aeronautical industries and the energy sector.

It is the sort of growth that enables business. There are now 2,000 more businesses operating in Canberra than there were three years ago. Our local companies are doing more international business than ever before, as the ACT's export services have risen by 22 per cent since 2015. Our government is making the necessary investments this city requires and our policies are creating jobs and opportunity.

We have invested $14.7 million over four years to implement the territory’s business development plan to create more jobs. This includes $9.8 million to establish a priority investment program to support growth and innovation in growing sectors such as communications technology, renewable energy, and space and satellite technology.

We have invested a further $5.3 million for partnerships to support Canberra’s job market. Of this, $3 million supports and promotes Canberra’s tertiary education sector

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