18 Sep 2013

Less reliance on public sector needed in Canberra economy

8:26 am on 18 September 2013

ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr has told the Legislative Assembly the Territory must diversify its economy if Canberra is to weather cuts to the Commonwealth Public Service.

Mr Barr told the Assembly that the best way to diversify is by producing and exporting high value goods.

"Canberra will never be a place where we make a million $A5 things," he said.

"But we can certainly make $A5 million scientific instruments and we do so out of a light manufacturing base in Fyshwick."

But the ABC reports said shadow treasurer Brendan Smyth said the ACT economy is much less diversified than it was a decade ago.

"The proof of the pudding is in the statistics," he said. "When we left office 60% of employment in the ACT was in the private sector, it is now less than 50%."