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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3326..


Economy-outlook

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Chief Minister. Is the Chief Minister aware of comments on WIN television last night by the former Liberal candidate for Molonglo and well-known small business operator, Mr Manuel Xyrakis, that the ACT economy was so strong that he intended to open another store? Does Mr Xyrakis have a sound basis for his optimism? Has the Chief Minister heard similar expressions of confidence from other ACT business people or organisations?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, in fact I did see Mr Xyrakis, Liberal Party member and candidate, on WIN television last night extolling the strength and vibrancy of the ACT economy. I did hear Mr Xyrakis, Liberal Party member and candidate, indicating that the Canberra economy was so strong and doing so well that he has been moved to open an additional business. He indicated that this was the view of many. I think it needs to be said-

Mrs Burke: Don't you take any credit for that!

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Burke, I warn you.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Xyrakis, of course, is not alone in his very optimistic outlook about the ACT, the strength of the ACT economy and how well this government has done in managing the economy over the last three years. You just have to look at the latest Hudson report, for example, which is compiled from a quarterly survey that focuses on the hiring expectations of businesses over the coming three months. The survey is based on responses from more than 7,000 employers and is regarded as perhaps the best barometer of business confidence throughout Australia. The ACT results are based on responses from 400 employers within Canberra. The survey results for July 2004 to September 2004 show a 12.2 per cent improvement in business optimism in the ACT. The results included the following:

  • Compared with other jurisdictions surveyed, the ACT remains one of the most optimistic with regard to job opportunities in the coming quarter.
  • Of the ACT employers surveyed, 47.6 per cent are expecting to increase staff, compared with only 4.4 per cent who anticipate a reduction from current staffing levels.
  • The net result for the ACT of 43.2 per cent is the highest anywhere in Australia.
  • The net result for the ACT is 14.8 per cent higher than national expectations. We lead the nation not just in relation to business confidence but also in the expectations of businesses to increase employment over the next period.
  • Of the ACT industries surveyed, Professional Services recorded the most optimistic outlook at 51 per cent and the government sector was also very optimistic.

That is a fair indication of the views reflected by well-known member of the Liberal Party and Liberal Party candidate Manuel Xyrakis about the ACT economy. Manuel Xyrakis did not need to read the Hudson report and its surveys of optimism and confidence in the ACT community. He works here, he is committed to the town and he is


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