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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3694 ..

Jon Stanhope just today said he would work with the Gillard government when the job cuts came. She will be the executioner and Jon will be holding the axe.

We have suffered the biggest federal deficit on record, followed by the second biggest federal deficit on record, an insulation program that took $1 billion to fix, BER rip-offs that led to a $1.5 billion blow-out, a $1 billion blow-out on school computers and a broadband project that was estimated to cost around $4.7 billion, now at around $43 billion. The billions just roll off the tongue. This is the new Labor direction. There are no more millions. We are talking billions. This is relief from Labor’s economic policies!

Mr Barr: Are you unhappy with your experience?

MR DOSZPOT: I can hardly wait for you to be Chief Minister to see what happens. This is having to fix Labor’s economic policies. This is Labor having to fix its own economic policies.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I return again to your matter of public importance, the importance of maintaining a strong and stable economy for Canberra and the region. Here is what Labor has done. Today’s Sensis business index reported that, in the last quarter, the ACT experienced the country’s biggest downturn in business confidence due to falling demand and deteriorating trading conditions. Furthermore, what is unique with the ACT is that our businesses are impacted by both supply and demand issues, which is not the case for the rest of the country.

So the question is not that a strong and stable economy is important but how ACT Labor intends to make this happen. And in light of examples of Labor’s economic record already given, their solution is to invent more public projects in the name of innovation, competition or whatever the flavour of the month may be. But the gains of such projects are lost in taxation and a stunting of sustainable economic diversification.

Of course, it is important to maintain a strong and stable economy for the ACT. However, given Labor’s record on the economy, Ms Porter’s matter of public importance today begs the issue. As a proud, taxpaying Canberran who has a passion for this city and feels a stake in its ongoing and future prosperity, a matter like this from across the floor is hard to stomach.

In fact, this matter reminds me of the great George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. When she was told of Pythagoras’s theory that the earth was round and revolves around the sun, she replied, “What an utter fool. Couldn’t he use his eyes?” This is what Ms Porter’s matter wants us to be like. Fortunately, the Canberra Liberals are more sophisticated than that. We cannot support a Labor economic policy that is only for Labor’s sake.

It is time to be mindful of the debit side of the ledger for a change. We will continue to hold the government to better fiscal accountability, foster economic development and industry diversification and ensure that local and disadvantaged communities reap the benefits of our economic policies.

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