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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1120..


I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Economy

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Madam Speaker has received letters from Dr Bourke, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mr Gentleman, Mr Hanson, Ms Lawder, Ms Porter, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Dr Bourke be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of continuing to create a prosperous future in the ACT by investing in our people, our economy, in local jobs and in our city.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.17): I welcome the opportunity to speak on this matter of public importance to update the Assembly on the work that the government has been doing to support the creation of a prosperous future at a time of economic uncertainty through investing in our people, our economy, in local jobs and in our city.

Defending jobs is a matter of economic and social importance. Being in work is the best way for a person or household to participate fully in our society. The ACT government's long-term commitments to economic reform and job creation remain a priority. This government will steer the territory to see the emergence of a stronger, more diverse economy.

The ACT's economic fundamentals remain sound and we continue to perform relatively well compared to most other non-mining states. These economic conditions are, however, challenged due to the federal government's ongoing fiscal restraint measures. The federal government is reducing the number of public servants. We are not sure of the final numbers, but the review of commonwealth government spending by the National Commission of Audit released last week will place further uncertainty on the territory's economic future.

Whether it is through tight commonwealth departmental budgets in 2014-15 and beyond, hiring freezes or natural attrition, these actions have the potential to limit employment growth in the ACT. A decline in the APS will have a direct impact on overall economic activity in the ACT.

While the outlook has weakened slightly, there are some positive signs. The latest ABS data indicate that annual state final demand increased by 0.8 per cent over the 2013 calendar year. This compares to an increase of 0.9 per cent in the national equivalent domestic final demand. Household spending and household demand has been supported by strong population growth and record low interest rates.


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