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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 2 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 628..


Mr Corbell (continuing):

relevant to matters that affect the whole community and his role as Chief Minister of the territory, I think it will be pretty hard for him to answer any questions in this place.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. I call the Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Ms Burch for the question. Indeed, it is a very important question in terms of policy facing the nation. In the face of the global financial crisis, there is no more important issue at the moment. The question goes to the intent and intention of the commonwealth's $42 billion stimulus package, which is, after all, to stimulate all areas of the economy so that the benefits, as I mentioned yesterday—benefits that the Liberal Party particularly seems to wish to ignore—filter down to those most in need. I refer to the local communities around Australia, to our government and non-government schools, to those in social housing, to small businesses and to individuals, to the men and women of Australia, to working families, young families and families on lower incomes. These are issues, all of which the Liberal Party seems intent on ignoring. It is all about jobs and it is all about families.

There has been broad support, it has to be said, for the stimulus package in response to the community reaction across the community and the business sector—indeed, across the full spectrum of the Australian community. Greg Evans, chief economist of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says:

We think it goes a long way towards alleviating the worst aspects of the economic downturn and actually put us in a better position than most, if not all, advanced economies.

That is advanced economies in the world. The Business Council of Australia chief executive, Katie Lahey, says:

The $42 billion package should be strongly supported.

She goes further on behalf of the Business Council of Australia, saying that the Australian government "has acted quickly and responsibility to limit the impact of the global recession on Australia"and that "in the face of a rapidly deteriorating global downturn that the Australian government stands ready to act".

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are in favour. The Business Council of Australia are in favour. The Canberra Liberals are against. Of course, there is a lot more. Chris Peters, chief executive of our local Chamber of Commerce and Industry, echoes the sentiments of the national chamber. Chris Peters—the raging red ragger that we all know him to be; the soft socialist lefty, red ragger—says that the package will bolster confidence and entice business to spend on the replacement of small items of capital expenditure. Mr Peters goes on to say:

It will flow quickly because it is retail expenditure and stock is on the floor ready to go.

Chris Faulks from the Canberra Business Council supports the tax breaks for business, and he says that small businesses will too. David Flannery, President of the ACT


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