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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5151 ..

MS GALLAGHER: Okay; the number of businesses versus private sector employment. But the data that I have before me is that there has been growth—

Mr Smyth: They are different.

MS GALLAGHER: Yes—in this sector. So I will have to have a look at what that means and compare the different results. I certainly have not had this issue drawn to my attention by the business community either. I have been meeting with them regularly over the last few months and this has not been raised as an issue. But I will certainly have a look at the report and come back.

Decisions around the private sector and small business will be made by those that own those businesses, but the government’s position in terms of support for business has been very much about creating the environment where it is a good place to do business. The feedback that we would have around the measures that we have been putting in place, both through business and economic development and through our own spending, is that we have been creating that environment. I would wonder whether some of the uncertainty around the federal election would have led into some of that data for the ABS.

Mr Smyth: No, this is to 30 June.

MS GALLAGHER: Well, everyone knows when the election is coming. If you listen to the chamber of commerce and the business council, they will draw to your attention that, in an election year, it does create uncertainty for small business in a place like Canberra. So I wonder whether that helps to explain that figure. I would say the small size of our economy would also lead to large fluctuations. But I will have a look at that detail, Mr Smyth.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Minister, in the absence of a full range of services being provided through Canberra BusinessPoint, what action are you taking to encourage an increase in the number of business being established in the ACT?

Mr Hargreaves: Keeping the Liberals out of government!

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hargreaves is on fire this afternoon with his humour. I have forgotten the question now, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth: When John Hargreaves speaks, it does have that effect on people.

MS GALLAGHER: It was around business support. As I said yesterday, the issue around BusinessPoint is around the procurement of a new service provider, and that is well underway. In the meantime, Deloittes are providing a service while the new services get up and running. As I said—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

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