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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 6 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1870..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

In relation to the demolition of buildings, as the Chief Minister has already indicated, I am not aware of that notice, but I have now asked my office to make inquiries as to what the situation is. Certainly there is no intention to disrupt the operations of existing community organisations. Community organisations will not be left without accommodation, and that will be managed through an orderly process as that area is progressively redeveloped.

Economy

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, would you be aware of a report from Australian Business Limited titled NSW Mid Term Report Card released earlier this year? What does that report say about the relative competitiveness of the ACT compared to the other states and territories?

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Ms Porter, for the opportunity to inject some objectivity. I am sure the Assembly will appreciate some objectivity, which is bound to be in very short supply, very soon! I just happen to have in front of me a copy of "Sensis and Australian Business Limited benchmark of state and territory government costs and regulation". I will read a couple of paragraphs:

During February 2005, Sensis, in conjunction with Australian Business Limited, undertook a survey of 1,800 Australian businesses regarding the ease of doing business in each State and territory.

1,800 small and medium sized businesses were asked "Taking into account your State/Territory Government costs and regulatory system, how easy do you find it to do business in your State/Territory, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being extremely difficult and 10 being extremely easy.

The average, over the states, came out at six. The highest achieved by any state or territory was 6.6: the result achieved by the ACT. That is well above the 6.3 achieved for the nearest state. This is an objective assessment by a business organisation. In post-budget debate and discussion, there will be a whole lot of references made to the flight of business out of the ACT and how hard it is to do business in the ACT, but here is objective evidence of the relativity of the ACT versus the other states and territories. I think it clearly demonstrates that the policies of this government are working-the policies of this government on working with small business; and the policies of this government in fostering small business and building more small businesses and more smarter and more innovative enterprises in the ACT. I think that is one number that should be recalled through the course of today and through the debate that may follow in this place over the next day or two.

MS PORTER: Thank you, minister. Are you aware of any other evidence that points to the growth of the business sector in the ACT?

MR QUINLAN: Those who were here during the last Assembly would have heard Mr Smyth, when referring to some ACT small business statistics, doing what the opposition has come to do regularly, that is, talking down our economy, putting out press releases-got a copy here-saying "1,500 put out or gone from the ACT, an absolute sign that business is not going well in the ACT." Of course those statistics from the ABS


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