Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 1252..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
What I am asking in this motion is for the government to tell us what they will do to shoulder their responsibility for their failings and to tell the Assembly by the last sitting day in March—next week—what it is that they will do. We want broad outlines. We appreciate the budget is coming, but we have got this comparison, this contrast with the Rudd government, that says you have to act quickly, you have to act now, you have to throw the kitchen sink at it. And we have got the Stanhope-Gallagher Labor government saying, "You just have to wait until May while we work this out."Mr Speaker, that is unacceptable. They are in government. They have a responsibility to ensure that they do everything they can to minimise the impacts which the Treasurer yesterday failed to acknowledge are occurring and happening to people in the ACT, even as we speak (Time expired.)
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.32): Mr Speaker, the government will be opposing the motion, and I have circulated an amendment which I now move:
Omit all words after "Assembly", substitute:
(1) that the ACT has entered a technical recession based on the data released on 6 March 2009 by ABS of State Final Demand;
(2) that the global financial crisis has contributed to this situation;
(3) the positive results of other recent macroeconomic indicators for the ACT, including the labour market, dwelling commencements and housing finance for individual investors;
(4) that, in response to the global financial crisis, the ACT Labor Government has conducted industry roundtables, and introduced two supplementary Budget appropriations aimed at supporting local jobs and investing in our community; and
(5) urges the ACT Government to consider further measures to support the local economy as part of the next ACT Budget.".
The motion reflects, as we have just seen illustrated in the presentation by the shadow treasurer, a fairly serious lack of understanding of what is happening in the world economy and, indeed, what is happening in the ACT economy. I have to say, coming from the Liberal Party treasury spokesperson, that really is quite alarming. The motion is ill-conceived and in some parts, of course, simply wrong.
Mr Smyth would have us believe that the ACT government has contributed to the ACT economy going into recession through its decisions over the past seven years. It has been described as a technical recession, and the Treasurer did explain quite fully yesterday, to Mr Smyth's embarrassment, that the strict definition of a recession relates to contraction and output and not to demand. Secondly, recessions are—and