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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 6 Hansard (14 May) . .

Page.. 1808..


MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Chief Minister, why is it important for the territory government to support the ACT economy?

MR BARR: It is certainly clear that the commonwealth's contraction in spending and employment has hit the territory's economy hard. The commonwealth reducing their employment and spending has flowed on to local businesses, particularly by way of reduced consumer confidence and retail activity. In such circumstances governments have a choice. They can either do all that is within their power to support growth and to encourage job creation or they can follow a mean, narrow-minded path of austerity, the tea party approach that is favoured by those opposite.

We will never step back and watch growth and jobs suffer. Without the stimulatory effects of the territory government's infrastructure program and our prudent spending initiatives to support the private sector, Canberra would have suffered even more from the commonwealth cuts. There are those, mostly sitting opposite, who advocate a different course of action. They champion austerity.

Mr Hanson: Do we?

MR BARR: They do. They seek to cut spending and services. That is the Liberal Party way. We saw it in the federal budget last year. We are seeing it in the approaches of state Liberal governments. This is the alternative approach and one that I am sure we are going to hear—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

Dr Bourke: On a point of order—

MADAM SPEAKER: Stop the clock.

Dr Bourke: Mr Smyth just interjected that the Chief Minister was spouting hypocrisy or saying hypocrisy.

MADAM SPEAKER: I did not hear it. "Hypocrisy" is one of those words that are in a grey area. I will review the transcript. I call the Chief Minister.

Mr Smyth: Madam Speaker, I am happy to help. I said, "The hypocrisy is galling."

MADAM SPEAKER: Are you going to withdraw it now that you have outed yourself?

Mr Smyth: You have just said that it is a vague area. If you want to rule on saying, "The hypocrisy is galling," I will withdraw it.

MADAM SPEAKER: No. I will contemplate the transcript because it is a grey area.


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