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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 27 November 2018) . . Page.. 4841 ..

economy is pleasing. We should be very proud of these results. It certainly has been a big year for our city, and the government is determined to keep working hard to see this economic growth continue.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, what do these strong ABS figures mean for services right across Canberra?

MR BARR: As our city grows, the ACT government is ensuring that the benefits of this growth are shared by all Canberrans. A prosperous Canberra must also be an inclusive Canberra, and that is why we continue to invest in our public healthcare system, delivering better health care where and when Canberrans need it. We are hiring more doctors and nurses to help cut emergency department and elective surgery wait times. We are opening more walk-in centres and supporting more GPs to bulk-bill.

It is why we are investing in public education across the territory to make sure that every local school is a great school and it is why we are designing a new public transport system that will make catching the bus or light rail a real option for more Canberrans.

Our ability to make these important investments is because of the strength of our economy. But this does not come about by accident. It is the result of a long-term, considered and deliberate strategy by the government to deliver an inclusive, progressive and connected agenda for our city.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, what do the ABS figures mean for people living and working in Canberra?

MR BARR: This strong economic growth means more and better job opportunities for Canberrans. Importantly, the latest ABS data shows that in 2017-18, growth in real GSP per capita in the ACT was 1.8 per cent. That was the second highest rate in Australia. That per capita growth is important. It demonstrates that not only is the economy growing because of increased population but also that our productivity is improving and, as is very clear, our GSP per capita is increasing.

Canberra continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of any state or territory in Australia according to the latest data and, at 3.7 per cent, is well below the national average. Youth unemployment over the year to October decreased and is well below the national average. This means that even though more and more people are choosing to make Canberra their home, living standards and employment opportunities continue to improve.

I am very proud of the work that we have undertaken to improve our city and to make a positive difference in the lives of people living here. But these consistently good economic results do not mean that our task is complete. We will continue to work every day to deliver on our vision for this great city into the new year and through the remainder of this parliamentary term.

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