Page 3796 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 September 2018

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We plan to make 30 more licences available immediately. We note that Canberra’s population has grown significantly over the years since the current cap was met and we are following through on that to ensure that there are increased choices for consumers, making sure that there are increased possibilities for people to move around this great city.

MR WALL: Minister, have any existing licence holders had their plate value decreased since ride-share came into effect, and will the government now consider compensation?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Wall for the supplementary question. In terms of the issue of compensation, the evaluation has carefully considered compensation for the holders of perpetual taxi licences. The evaluation has indicated, and the government agrees, that individuals who purchased their licences directly from the government during 1995 or earlier and have held on to them will have achieved a full return on their investment. Over time, individuals who hold on to their licenses have had ready access to information about the government’s intentions. The government will be seeking to provide personal support, and I will be in a position to provide further details of that in coming days.

Agriculture—Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries. What opportunities does agri-tech offer to the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cheyne for her interest in this area. While agriculture may not be the first thing that springs to mind when people think about Canberra—a small jurisdiction with minimal land and crops—our city is a national and global leader when it comes to innovation, research, education, policy and advocacy in plant and agricultural sciences.

This was first demonstrated way back in 1901 when Australian plant breeder William Farrer developed what became known as Federation wheat at Lambrigg in Tharwa that enabled Australia to become a global leader in agriculture.

In 2017, ANU biophysicist Dr Graham Farquhar became the first Australian to receive the Kyoto Prize in recognition of his life’s work in plant biophysics and photosynthesis, which involved research on water-efficient crops and the impacts of climate change.

Other key research and public advocacy organisations based in Canberra include the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the National Farmers’ Federation, Animal Health Australia, Plant Health Australia and government departments such as the department of agriculture and the Australian bureau of agricultural and resource economics.

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