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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2862..

MR MULCAHY (continuing):

In light of these comments, what specific ACT growth figures, apart from the blow-out in public sector spending, can your government genuinely claim responsibility for?

MR STANHOPE: It is interesting again that the shadow Treasurer, the coat-tugger extraordinaire—

Mr Mulcahy: That's Ted's line—come on!

MR STANHOPE: No, it was mine; Ted borrowed it from me, Mr Mulcahy. The shadow Treasurer, Mr Mulcahy, is a coat-tugger extraordinaire—the forelock-toucher, the coat-tugger, Peter Costello's lap boy.

Of course, we are again seeing the opposition taking the opportunity to talk down the economy and the ACT as a place to invest. We are seeing again the opposition engaging in the game of talking the town down. The shadow Treasurer is the person in whom the Liberal Party have invested responsibility for the economy, our economic wellbeing, issues around growth and the essential responsibility for broadening the economic base. And what does he do? He does as his leader has been doing in recent times. He takes every opportunity to talk the place down, saying to interstate investors, "This is not a place to which you should come. This is not a place in which you should invest. This is a town that is not doing well. Why would you, if you were a private sector investor, invest in this town?"This is the message which the shadow Treasurer, his leader, the property council of the ACT and others are constantly sending off to the major institutional investors in Sydney and Melbourne. The message is: "Don't come here. Don't invest here. This is not a place that is going well. You should think twice before you come to this town."

That is the message—the constant, repetitive message now—of the Liberal Party. We have seen it over the last couple of weeks—belying the facts—from the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister for police that this is a dangerous place and picking up the catchcry from a unionist that you are better off walking through Sydney and that Sydney is safer than Canberra. This ignores the fact that there has been a 12 per cent year on year reduction in crime. This has been talked up to such an extent that the interstate media have been interested. The message is: "Don't go to Canberra; it is a really dangerous place. Don't go to Canberra; crime is rampant."This could not be further from the truth. It is a complete distortion of the truth. But the message that has been sent to the rest of Australia is: "Don't come to this town."This applies not only to tourists. The message is: "Don't come here because this is not a safe place in which to walk around". We see it now from the shadow Treasurer.

Mr Mulcahy: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. I asked the Treasurer to indicate the growth figures. I am fascinated by the dissertation but it has absolutely no relevance to the question. It is not even remotely relevant.

MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: Then we go to the shadow Treasurer and his attempt to talk the town down. He has moved away from crime and is onto the economy. The message that he sends—and he sends it through this question—is that this is not a place in which you as a

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