Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3327..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
prepared to stand up and say, "Yes, Canberra is doing extremely well; the strongest economy in Australia. This economy, under this government, is so strong and so well-managed that I am prepared to continue to invest in this community because of the management of Ted Quinlan and the management of this government."
It is a fantastic economy, enormously strong. As I say, Manuel Xyrakis, well-known member of the Liberal Party and Liberal Party candidate, did not need to read the Hudson report to know how well this town is doing under this government. He is out there saying it; he is talking the town up; he is prepared to work with the government. He is talking the town up; he is not talking it down like his colleagues in the Liberal Party; he is out there talking the economy up and talking Canberra up. He knows how strong the economy is, and he is prepared to acknowledge what a great job this government has done in managing it.
There is a whole range of indicators other than those expressions of opinion by well-known member of the Liberal Party and Liberal Party candidate Manuel Xyrakis about the strength of the economy. We do not need just that opinion or the opinion of the Hudson report. Look at the range of other indicators about what a wonderful job has been done over the last three years.
- Unemployment-3.3 per cent in June-is the lowest by far in Australia.
- Job ads rose 8.4 per cent in June-8 per cent higher than the national average.
- The latest retail trading figures, for June, show a 3.6 per cent increase.
- CPI is running at 2.9 per cent.
- Property was still running strongly in the budget. In his budget speech the Treasurer indicated that whilst there will be a downturn in housing we were hoping that the landing would be soft. The latest figures in relation to property in the ACT indicate, at this stage, that the landing will be soft.
- Building approvals for June numbered 288-up 5.5 per cent from May-the fifth consecutive month to record a rise, and the second-best result in Australia. That is an absolutely fantastic result for the people of the ACT.
We know that the strength of Canberra is our small business sector. There are 20,000 small businesses that, under this government, are growing in strength and importance. I have to say that it is small business operators like Manuel Xyrakis, who are prepared to get out there, prepared to talk the town up, prepared to invest in the town and prepared to continue to show their confidence in the town and to work with this government, who are the future of Canberra. Well done, Mr Xyrakis.
MS MacDONALD: My question is directed to the Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism. Recently, as part of its July edition, the Business Review Weekly published its review entitled "State of the States". Will the minister inform the Assembly what the BRW found and how the ACT compares to other states and territories?
MR QUINLAN: I have more good news. Following the glowing endorsement in May of this government's budget by the Australian Financial Review, we now have the balanced