Page 4477 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 30 October 2018

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ACT government to establish Canberra’s sister city relationship with Nara. Since that time, there have been numerous delegations between the two cities, focusing on education, culture and business.

Earlier this month, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary, I again had the honour of visiting Nara as part of a broader trade mission to Japan and, whilst in Nara, met with Mayor Nakagawa to discuss his upcoming visit to Canberra. Last week, the mayor and an extensive delegation, including more than 50 school students from Nara, arrived in Canberra to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

During his visit, the mayor and his delegation, amongst other things, undertook a ceremonial tree planting at the National Arboretum; attended a reception hosted by the Japanese ambassador; took a tour of the new light rail corridor; attended a last post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial; and enjoyed a lunch here in the Assembly, hosted by you, Madam Speaker.

Finally, on Saturday evening, the mayor and I, and the Nara delegation and about 17,000 Canberrans, attended the 16th annual Canberra Nara candle festival. I am advised that this was a record attendance, of around 17,000 people, which was up 40 per cent on last year’s attendance. It was wonderful to see. It was a fantastic evening and a wonderful celebration of Canberra and Nara, indeed, of Australia and Japan.

MS ORR: Chief Minister, are there any upcoming activities planned with our other sister cities?

MR BARR: Yes, there are. This week the mayor of Wellington will be in Canberra. The delegation, led by Mayor Justin Lester, will be discussing a range of issues, including business, tourism, culture and research collaboration. We will also be focusing on re-establishing an aviation connection between our two cities.

Later this week, perhaps on a lighter note, we will be launching a bespoke sister city beer, the Ale of Two Cities, which is a collaboration between Canberra’s own BentSpoke and Wellington’s Fork and Brewer.

As a follow-up, next month I will be leading our annual delegation to Wellington as part of the third Canberra Week. We will continue to raise the profile of our city in Wellington, support the development of local businesses and foster further knowledge-sharing between the two capitals.

In 2020 we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our sister city relationship with Beijing. Work has recently commenced on a program of activities to mark this important occasion. I plan to visit Beijing in 2019.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, are you looking at the potential for any new sister city relationships?

MR BARR: We do receive regular approaches to form sister city relationships. There are only so many that we can support. So we are reviewing the guidelines and

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