Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 October 2010) . . Page.. 5018 ..
MR SPEAKER: Before we proceed with further questions, members, for your information we are joined in the public gallery today by year 9 students from Burgmann Anglican college. I welcome you to the Assembly today.
Questions without notice
MS PORTER: My question is to the Treasurer. With the recovery in the global and national economies continuing, can the Treasurer advise the Assembly on the state of the ACT economy?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. It does give me great pleasure to update the Assembly today on the performance of the ACT economy over the last 12 months. All of us in this place would support the extra super effort that has been demonstrated by our economy, far exceeding all the forecasts, I think, from all the commentators and, indeed, our own Treasury.
The latest report by CommSec, the State of the states, the third consecutive quarter where they have rated the ACT alongside WA as the strongest performing economy in the country, clearly demonstrates, I believe, that the decisions that both the federal government and the ACT government took 18 months ago to invest in our local economy, to provide extra support when private investment was diminishing, were the right decisions to take. This has been, I think, demonstrated through the results not only in the State of the states but also by Access Economics and, indeed, our own results under the national accounts, where we can see, from state final demand figures for the last full year, the economy actually grew by 7.8 per cent, which, again, far exceeds anybody’s expectations.
We can also see the low unemployment rate in the ACT, down to three per cent, and the strongly performing housing market which is very much underpinning the recovery of our economy, alongside that very significant public investment. If you do drill down into those national account figures, you can see that public investment increased significantly in 2009-10, by 42.8 per cent.
Obviously, the commonwealth government was a very significant contributor to this but I think we have got our own record to stand on, with the final capital works spend for the 2009-10 year for the ACT government coming in at $580 million, which demonstrates, whilst we are a small government, our ability to provide stability when it was needed the most.
So I think these results are figures to celebrate in terms of the performance of our own economy. It has far exceeded anyone’s expectations and, I think, is due to a range of different efforts, both public and private, to support jobs and provide investment into our local economy when the global and national economies were under such pressure.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Porter?