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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2861..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

We should reflect on what the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest statistical analysis of life in the territory reveals for us. It is essentially confirmation of a story that we all know to be true. It is a reflection of the fact that each of us chooses to live here, continues to live here and has no intention of moving anywhere else.

Across the board, in the latest ACT and region bureau of statistics Australian Capital Territory in Focus, we find that the Australian Capital Territory continues, particularly in a qualitative sense, to lead the nation. Whether it be health, education, delivery of community services, any particular component part of delivery of health services, educational outcomes or musical services, the level of government service delivery in the Australian Capital Territory and the outcomes achieved leads the nation by far.

This is led of course by the fact that gross household disposable income is confirmed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics per capita in the ACT to be at $43,084—this is as at the end of 2005—as against a national average of $27,468. Average disposable household income in the Australian Capital Territory is more than $15,000 a year higher than it is for others living elsewhere in Australia. That has enormous implications for the quality of life in the territory.

Retention rates from year 7 to year 12 in the Australian Capital Territory in 2005 were just over 88 per cent, as against the national average of 73 per cent. There has been a six per cent rise in the number of health professionals in the year to 30 June 2005. The proportion of the population receiving income support from Centrelink is the lowest in the nation. There has been a three per cent increase in sworn police numbers whilst we have been in government.

There was a 12 per cent decline in reported crimes between 2004 and 2005. When one reflects on some of the humbug that the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister for police have been peddling in relation to crime in the territory, one sees that it really is in the context of that determination to frighten the population, to keep them frightened and to peddle perceptions of unsafety, which are simply false. It really is an indictment of the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister for police.

It is consistent with the whistleblowing that we see from their colleagues on the hill in relation to issues around safety. In the context of a 12 per cent over-the-year reduction in crime, for the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister for police to be going around blowing the dog whistle, trying to make this community more frightened—in the context of this being the safest city in Australia bar none—is an indictment of them.

Economy

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, my question is for the Treasurer. In the Canberra Times of 11 September 2006, Chris Uhlmann made the following statement regarding the ACT economy:

As much as we might like to see ourselves as sturdily independent of the Commonwealth, and point to the growth in Canberra's private sector over the past 10 years as proof, the fact remains that Peter Costello is the person most responsible for the economic weather here. And the private sector growth is largely based on federal government spending ...


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