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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 319 ..

up from the 14.4 per cent recorded for the year ending December 2008. The number of first home buyer commitments in the ACT increased by 100 per cent, while non first home buyer commitments also increased strongly, by 19.7 per cent.

These housing market related indicators confirm that the low interest rate environment plus some of those stimulus measures to support employment in the territory were very effective for homeowners and investors alike, and many of them took the opportunity to invest in the housing market during this time.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, compared with the federal government’s slashing of 7,000 jobs in the ACT in 1996, what effect on the employment marketplace in the ACT did this stimulus package generate?

MS GALLAGHER: I think the aim of the stimulus program nationally was all about jobs. I think in fact it was known as the nation building and jobs plan, to make sure that when the private sector particularly was under a fair bit of pressure government was able to step in, intervene and support employment. There is no doubt when you talk to industry around decisions that they were taking as the global financial crisis unfolded that they were taking those decisions mindful, particularly in the future months, of whether or not work would be there, how the banking system was holding up and what was happening in financial markets. And all of that created uncertainty for the labour market.

I think the results that we have seen nationally in unemployment levels, maintaining a very low level, much lower than was originally thought, and when compared to other economies around the world, show we have done very well on that front. Really, nobody can stand here and argue that the nation building jobs plan, or indeed the investments that this Assembly made into the local community, have not helped and assisted employers to retain workers in jobs. That has been an excellent result, not only for our economy but for many families who rely on employment to keep their families going.

When people write the reviews of how people have responded, how countries have responded, my own feeling—and I am sure it is shared by a number of people in this place—is that the governments at a federal, state and territory level really did cooperate to ensure that they were supporting jobs across the country.

Home insulation program

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney-General, who informed you of the outcomes of the April 2009 telephone hook-up between state fair trading departments and the federal government? When were you informed?

MR CORBELL: I was informed by officials of my department this morning, Mr Speaker. I should comment that it is not unusual for officers of the ACT government to have contact with commonwealth officers. It is further not unusual for those meetings to not always be reported to their ministers. They happen at all levels of the public service and they happen regularly and frequently.

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