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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 3 Hansard (17 March) . .

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labourers, landscapers, suppliers. All of those people will be benefiting directly from this project, and it is only the Liberal Party that is opposed to creating jobs for Canberrans.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, does the ACT government have a deficit figure in mind which, when reached, would mean you would consider abandoning light rail?

MR CORBELL: That is not a question for me. That is a question for the Treasurer, ultimately. But I simply make the point that this government is committed to the delivery of this project. It is a key election commitment. It is a commitment we spelt out clearly to the people of Canberra before the last election. It is a commitment we are now implementing. And it is a commitment that will deliver jobs and economic opportunity for our city and for our community.

Let us be very clear: the project delivers over a billion dollars worth of economic benefits across the ACT economy. It will employ over 3½ thousand Canberrans during the construction phase, and it will deliver significant economic opportunity in the long term as we transform the pattern of development along the corridor, increase land values, increase investment in our city—all things that the counterparts of those opposite in the federal parliament are doing in a completely contrary way when they continue to cut jobs and undermine economic confidence in our city.

Economy—policy

MS FITZHARRIS: My question is to the Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development. Minister, what actions has the ACT government taken to diversify the ACT economy since September 2013?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Fitzharris for the question, and indeed for the opportunity to again advise the Assembly of the significant range of actions that the ACT Labor government has taken to support our economy in recent years.

This morning I provided an update on the growth, diversification and jobs business development strategy for the territory, a strategy that is focused on diversifying our private sector base to create new jobs in our city. Our city's creativity and connectedness provide a very strong foundation on which to build a dynamic private sector economy. Guided by the business development strategy, we are harnessing knowledge to drive innovation and business growth.

The government has always been alert to the key risks posed by the commonwealth's contraction and has been implementing a range of measures to support our economy in the short term, in addition to our longer term strategic plans for growth and diversification. In this context it might be worth noting that we are indeed using the fiscal policy as a way of stimulating our economy through this difficult period. This is a deliberate policy choice of the government, and it is a policy choice that is supporting jobs in our economy and continued economic growth.


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