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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 September 2018) . . Page.. 3785 ..


demand were positive during the 2017-18 fiscal year, including public consumption, private consumption and public and private investment.

The ACT economy continues to perform well, contributing more jobs for Canberrans. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and we are seeing strong returns for our local businesses.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, what are the main components of the state final demand and what do they highlight about our local economy?

MR BARR: The single largest component of the ACT’s state final demand is private consumption, which accounted for $4.6 billion of activity in the June quarter of 2018 alone, or around 38 per cent of total state final demand. This is household spending that Canberrans undertake every day in supermarkets, bars and cafes and, of course, for the purchasing of household items.

Another $1.3 billion, or around 11 per cent, of state final demand is made up of private investment, which includes investment in housing as well as private business investment. The fact that private consumption and investment account for such a large share of demand in our economy highlights the importance of Canberrans having good, secure jobs that pay a decent wage.

The ACT government takes good jobs, fair wages and the protection of legal entitlements seriously, which is why we have developed the secure local jobs code. It is why we have established a task force to examine the employment arrangements across the ACT public service to identify contract or temporary positions that can be made permanent. The steps that we are taking to boost secure work with decent pay here in Canberra are good for workers but it is also important to reflect that our state final demand figures highlight how important this is across the wider economy.

MS ORR: What are some of the sectors that have seen the strongest growth in demand over the past 12 months?

MR BARR: One of the strongest areas of growth has been in private business investment, up 14.7 per cent over the past year. It is really pleasing to see Canberra businesses investing in new equipment, new building and other goods, because it shows that they are feeling optimistic about the future and our city’s prospects.

National government consumption has also increased, which is, of course, a good thing after a period of decrease under the Abbott government. Yes, Madam Speaker, it was the Abbott government: it was a few prime ministers ago now; I forget.

The Australian public service will and should continue to provide a strong base for our city’s economy, but it is one that we can continue to build on. That is why this very strong growth in private business investment over the past year is a positive for the ACT.

There is one metric in state final demand figures that we like to see go down instead of increasing, and that is the net expenditure interstate figure. I am pleased to advise


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