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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1713..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I am rather amazed, actually, at some of the media coverage of the place in Curtin because that was a purpose built house with which the young people who had moved in, and whom I met, were very happy. Certainly, they were when I spoke to them. We aim to please as much as we can, but I do not think I could possibly give a unilateral guarantee such as you seek, Ms Follett. There may well be circumstances, and very reasonable ones, that would make that inappropriate.

Business Investment Incentives

MR HIRD: I direct a question to the Chief Minister. I refer the Chief Minister to constant criticisms by the Labor Party about an incentive package agreed to between the Government and the advanced technology manufacturing firm, Australian Optical Fibre Research Ltd. I also draw the Minister's attention to this statement made in the Assembly last month:

... Canberra should be out in the marketplace attracting investment and promoting the national capital as a positive place in which to invest.

Can the Minister advise the Assembly just who made that statement and how the agreement with AOFR will create jobs which are badly needed for the Canberra area?

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: My understanding is that this issue is at this moment before the Estimates Committee. Could you rule on whether the matter ought to be the subject of questions in question time when the Estimates Committee is considering it?

Mr Kaine: Everything is before the Estimates Committee. Can we not ask any questions?

MR SPEAKER: I think that is probably the answer. I am not aware of it, Mr Berry. It certainly has been a matter of some public debate and therefore I rule that the question is in order.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, it may come as a surprise to those sitting opposite, but I do not think to the rest of Canberra, that the level of new private investment in the ACT has been falling steadily for some 15 months. So, when the Government reaches an agreement with a company that has just won a $250m contract to keep that business in Canberra, you would expect at least tacit support from the Labor Party. The quote Mr Hird read was actually out of Ms Follett's response to my budget. After all, this is the same entrepreneurial business-orientated Labor Party that told Canberrans that they would have been out there doing deals with the stock exchange and leading Australia by cutting stamp duty on shares; it is the same forward-thinking Labor Party that told the private sector that they had to be out there creating an extra 1,000 jobs a year because the public sector could not do so; and this is the same Opposition Leader who told the Assembly in her budget reply that Canberra should be out there in the marketplace attracting investment and promoting the national capital as a positive place in which to invest. In the same budget reply, Ms Follett also said:


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