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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 1205..


Mr Seselja: He said operating budget. He said scope.

MS GALLAGHER: How many questions do you want—

Mr Seselja: He is not just talking about the cost of building, Katy, just to make that clear.

MS GALLAGHER: The women's and children's hospital is a $90 million capital project. There is no cut to that project. In terms of operating costs, that is, the recurrent cost, you will know—and this was rather a big issue of difference in the election—that this government has faxed in $550 million of additional money to the health budget over the forward estimates period. There is no intention to cut that because that is what it is going to cost us.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you have had your supplementary question.

Economy—recession

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, earlier in question time today you said that the ACT was in a technical recession. Treasurer, what is the difference between a recession and a technical recession?

MS GALLAGHER: The main issue is that, in general, a recession usually refers to a contraction in output as measured by gross state product rather than contraction in demand. As the ABS does not publish quarterly GSP figures for the ACT, hence the drop in SFD—that is, state final demand—has been referred to as a technical recession. And I get 10 points for guessing the little smart alec question from Mr Smyth.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Seselja: If you'd answered it on your own, you would have got your points.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth has the floor.

MR SMYTH: Normally it is manner, method and subject, so we will do the scoring later. Treasurer, the supplementary question is: what is the difference in the effect on the Canberra community between a recession and a technical recession?

MS GALLAGHER: At the moment I would be surprised if anyone, in a technical recession sense, is feeling the impact of the technical recession. That is measured by household consumption going up, unemployment remaining low, and jobs at 197,100 and rising. They are the measures, because usually it is when people lose their jobs that the impact of a recession is felt. It is felt by the loss of wealth in households, and that loss of wealth is normally felt through an income earner losing their job. At the moment, we have a technical recession, but we are not seeing unemployment rise or


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