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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 116 ..


ACT. Unfortunately, as a result of this government’s settings, we have pushed all of these people across the border, and that is a great shame. It is a great shame that this government’s legacy is pushing thousands of people outside Canberra.

Ms Le Couteur also made note of the fact that people are happy to pay more to get more in return. That is dependent on being able to actually pay more. We have tens of thousands of households in Canberra that are struggling. As I said a few weeks ago, I think we have a real risk of having a two-pace society in Canberra: one pace that can keep up with the ever-increasing costs of living, including the rates hikes; and another that is falling behind. And that is not just a financial problem; that will grow into being a significant social problem. It already is one, but it will grow to be a very significant social problem. We heard yesterday in the minister’s maiden speech about Washington DC. That should be a very real example for people in the ACT. We have to make sure that we do not become a tale of two cities, like Washington DC has become.

I will conclude as I finished in my opening remarks. This is not just a question of finance; this is a question of social policy. It is about making sure that we are not indebting future generations. If the Chief Minister is so committed to high employment levels, you simply cannot keep having deficits, because we all know that deficit after deficit, mounting debt, will lead to higher unemployment. We must be very careful. I am very disappointed that the motion has been amended, but I am glad that at least we have had an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion on this very important issue.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Territory economy

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (10.52): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) that the ACT economy continues to perform strongly in a challenging national and international economic environment;

(b) that the ACT Government used the Territory Budget to support the local economy, and to support jobs, during the Commonwealth’s employment and expenditure cuts;

(c) that this strategy worked, as evidenced by recent economic data showing the strength of the economy:

(i) growth in economic activity, as measured by State Final Demand, in the Territory was the highest in the nation, growing at an annual rate of 6.4 percent;


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