Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (11 August) . .
The government's focus on jobs, on economic growth, is paying significant dividends flowing through to our budgetary position. The ACT's population is also continuing to expand, increasing by 5,271 people over the course of 2015. That is a growth rate of 1.4 per cent, of which net overseas migration contributed around 40 per cent.
The housing and construction industry is currently experiencing high rates of growth, with dwelling commencements for houses or apartments increasing by almost 90 per cent in the past 12 months. Retail trade grew by a healthy 3.8 per cent through the year to June 2016, a stronger performance than the national growth rate of 2.8 per cent over the same period.
The ACT's service exports have also increased, growing by a significant 16.2 per cent over the course of 2015, to reach $1.6 billion, again the highest growth rate of any jurisdiction in Australia. This outstanding result was driven by growth in international education exports of 10.3 per cent in 2015, bringing their total value to $451 million for our economy.
International tourism exports also grew in 2015, increasing by 5.1 per cent to reach $208 million. In 2015 technical, trade-related and other business services, such as engineering services, increased by 35.2 per cent to bring $165 million into the territory economy.
Over the past five years, service exports have grown by 65 per cent, well above the national average of 30 per cent. This incredibly strong economic performance is being reflected in continuous improvements in the territory's budget position. I am delighted today to be able to report to the Assembly a further $60 million improvement in the territory's budget position. That is a 25 per cent reduction in the estimated deficit for the previous fiscal year and it demonstrates that the government's fiscal strategy is the correct one. We are on track, Madam Speaker, and those who have been casting aspersions to the contrary e are proved wrong yet again.
Mr Barr presented the following paper:
Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 24—Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2014-2015—Recommendations Nos. 17 and 18—Revised Government response.
Icon Water—Results to a Series of Questions conducted for Icon Water—Interview conducted 15 to 21 April 2016—Reported 28 April 2016.
Mr Barr, on behalf of Mr Corbell, presented the following paper:
Evaluation of the Community Fire Unit Program in the ACT, dated June 2016—Prepared by Risk Frontiers for ACT Emergency Services Agency.
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