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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2229..


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8.18): There are a few points worth making in this debate. The Tom Connors article that both the Chief Minister and Ms Burke referred to actually uses as its basis the Treasury's latest Economic Roundup document. There are two points in the document that I would like to refer to. Firstly, it says that the majority of the world's poor have achieved income growth faster than in developed nations for the first time in two centuries. That is Treasury's assessment of the situation that we see globally. Tom Connors went on to say:

The proportion of the world's population living in extreme poverty has declined from about three-quarters in 1820 to about one-fifth today. The decline continued at a slow rate over the 1990s. But in extremely poor countries economic growth was not fast enough to outpace the birth-rate, keeping high the number living in gross poverty. This is the big challenge of the new century.

The real challenge is to provide jobs for that huge growth in population, and jobs come with the ability of poor countries to supply goods to larger countries. A point can be made here about anti-trade groups like the Greens. It was interesting to hear Mr Berry referring to some of the policies of the Americans. One could actually put a case that groups like the Greens have been shamelessly manipulated by the American union movement in protecting trade barriers. Why do they keep those trade barriers? They do so because it stops the inflow of cheaper goods from underdeveloped countries. In effect, some of the policies that Ms Tucker would put forward are stopping what she is trying to do. It is a very good point that they also seek to protect the jobs of those in the richer countries.

A dilemma that we face as developing countries is whether we are genuine about the way that we look after the poor and the developing nations. We have had laughter and cackling over there from the left about putting up trade barriers, yet they espouse the evils of the Americans because they are protecting what they want. There is a dilemma in there to which there is no easy answer, but the answer is not to have more trade barriers. The point here is that free trade will, in fact, benefit developing nations more.

MR RUGENDYKE (8.21): I must admit that this is not my area of expertise. I have listened to much of this debate to try to ascertain what any of the speeches have had to do with the four points within this motion. When I hear about the World Trade Organisation my mind immediately jumps to the demonstrations of anarchy that we see at its meetings round he world. I do not think I have ever heard of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, GATS. I just wonder what the motion is about. I look forward to Ms Tucker's closing speech to clarify it all for me.

MS TUCKER (8.23), in reply: Mr Rugendyke wants to know what the motion is about. Is that an invitation to start all over again? Perhaps I should go over the whole lot again, even though I had to seek an extension of time to explain what the motion was about. I will try to explain it again.

I thought that Mr Rugendyke started off quite well in saying that he did not think a lot of the speeches actually addressed the four point of this motion, and I agree with him. I have focused on the seeking of information and the impact on democracy of the expansion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. What does that mean for the


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