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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (30 July) . . Page.. 3016..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

next frontier. Because some of city west will involve the granting of new leases, this is the best opportunity to get new public housing properties.

As members are well aware, there are obviously important federal dimensions to this debate as well. The Greens have made several proposals, including allowing negative gearing only for low rental properties for landlords. Also, we have suggested looking at more creative financing schemes for public housing in the ACT, recognising it as a central public good, such as looking, in combination, at alternative ways of investment, green bonds, superannuation and so on. It is obviously a broad issue that can be addressed from several different angles. I am hoping that the bill I am tabling today will at least bring some structure into development in the ACT which will address, to a degree, the crisis in provision of affordable housing.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Hargreaves ) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted for today, 30 June 2004, to Mr Wood.

Motion (by Mr Smyth ) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted for today, 30 June 2004, to Mr Stefaniak.

Employment growth expectations

MR HARGREAVES (11.01): I move:

That this Assembly welcomes the release of the latest Hudson Report on Employment Expectations which shows that the ACT leads the nation in employment growth expectations.

I am pleased to note that yesterday's release of the Hudson Report on employment expectations shows that ACT employers are the most optimistic in the country with respect to hiring over the next three months. Almost half of the ACT businesses surveyed plan to increase staff numbers over the September quarter 2004 while only 4.4 per cent expect to reduce numbers. The ACT net effect of 43.2 per cent is by far the highest among the states and territories and is 14.8 percentage points above the national average of 28.4 per cent. The September quarter result is also an impressive 12.3 percentage points above the June quarter estimate.

The Treasurer noted in his budget speech that employment opportunities are forecast to remain strong in the territory and the results of the Hudson Report lend weight to that view. Of the ACT industries surveyed, Professional Services recorded the most optimistic outlook, with a net effect of 51.8 per cent, up 8.7 percentage points on the previous survey. The government sector also recorded a very optimistic net effect of 43.5 per cent, up 19.2 percentage points on the June quarter result. This outcome for the government sector is particularly pleasing and should go some way to alleviating the uncertainty in the business community that is often associated with territory and federal

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