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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 464 ..


MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (11.00): I thank members for their contributions this morning. It is always good to talk about the success of the ACT economy and it is always insightful to hear the wide variety of perspectives on the economy, and indeed, one might extrapolate, on life.

It is fascinating, as you observe people’s instinctive responses to issues raised in this place, to see that many, it would appear, have as their default starting point that very little good can happen ever; that there is always something wrong, something else or more that should be done; or that the task is forever unfulfilled, unable to be completed unless some other element of economic, social or political debate could be engaged in.

It is instructive, in the context of where the territory economy is now, to hear the different perspectives of the three different political parties in this place. I will simply make the observation that I am very proud and pleased to be a member of the Australian Labor Party, which has a positive perspective on both this city and its future, and which is in the business of talking Canberra up, of encouraging this city to be even better.

I would invite anyone who later reviews the Hansard report of this debate to compare the approach and the outlook of members of the Australian Labor Party with those of the other parties. It will be instructive, and I think it will demonstrate very clearly who is in the business of driving opportunity, growth and improvement in Canberra and whose starting point is that everything is measurable and nothing good could possibly ever happen. That really clouds how everyone works in this place. Even factoring in opposition, crossbench and government roles, it is instructive. Members might want to reflect upon their fundamental outlook on life if everything is so miserable. But I digress.

I am very pleased to be able to advise the Assembly that according to the ANZ, in their most recent snapshot of state and territory performance, the ACT was the best performing state or territory in the fourth quarter of 2017. That is according to their Stateometer index. They said:

The labour market was the standout sector supported by strength in both public and private hiring. Trade and household sectors were also positives.

On the question of diversification, which is a topic of consistent debate in this place, they said:

The ACT’s small and concentrated economy has become marginally less small and less concentrated. Helped by solid population growth, it posted stellar 4.6% gross state product growth in 2016-17 and is on track for another good year.

Exports—including international education and tourism—are helping to broaden the ACT’s economic base and have made a positive contribution to the ANZ Stateometer since mid-2016.


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