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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3604..


Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Hargreaves called Mr Pratt a stupid person. I think that is unparliamentary and I ask that it be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: I do not know. Did you call him stupid?

Mrs Dunne: Yes, he did.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, in the interests of peace and goodwill to all men, I withdraw the statement.

Economy

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, how has the Stanhope Labor government's economic management contributed to the ACT's strong economy?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. It is true that the ACT is experiencing a period of sustained economic growth and prosperity. The last few years have seen renewed economic activity providing a foundation for increased confidence in the ACT.

Good economic management, of course, starts with good fiscal management. The growth in economic activity would not have been possible without running strong policies and initiatives and making the tough decisions since coming to office in 2001—decisions that have prepared the Canberra community for the future. This government has maintained a level of fiscal discipline unmatched by any previous government, most notably the previous Liberal government.

This government has presided over a planning regime which has enabled the most significant period of construction investment since the building of the new Parliament House in 1986-87. This government has commenced the largest infrastructure investment program of any government since self-government was established. We are building a better city and a stronger community by investing the dividends of our strong economy in the long term, with more money for hospitals, with a billion-dollar investment program over the next 10 years; schools, with just on $400 million invested over the last few years; tackling climate change, with $240 million committed over the next 10 years; and improving our neighbourhoods.

Before coming to our government's policies since 2001 and the benefits that our policies have provided for the ACT community, it would be appropriate for me to summarise what we inherited and what we had to deal with when we came to government. We inherited unfunded promises for pay rises. Nobody can forget the shambles around the nurses' pay claim at the time. We inherited six years of minimal or no investment in infrastructure and capital—an average of $76 million a year in the last term of the last Liberal government. The capacity of the Liberal Party to invest in infrastructure and to deliver came out to the tune of $76 million a year. In the last financial year, this government delivered $314 million of capital. We delivered, in the last financial year, more capital than the Liberal Party delivered in its last term. What


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