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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2290 ..


consumer myths out there. These sort of powers give consumers better prospects when it comes to making the case.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, what can our constituents do to support this work?

MR RATTENBURY: There is real enthusiasm in the community for people to get involved. I have been so impressed by the rise of repair cafes in the ACT. We have the one at Tuggeranong, which Mr Davis asked about, and the one at the Canberra Environment Centre, which is the original one here in Canberra. In some ways I think that our men’s sheds are the classic repair cafes, where people are taking things, fixing them, putting them back together and zhooshing them up, whatever! There is that really practical element to it. But there is a national movement.

For our constituents who are motivated by this, there are groups who are pushing this case. There is the opportunity to contribute to the Productivity Commission’s ongoing processes and to make the case to various of our parliamentary colleagues, particularly at the federal level, that it is important that we see reform in this space in Australia. Certainly, in the European Union they are increasingly adopting standards which require manufacturers to produce goods that do not have built-in obsolescence. They cannot be designed in a way that means you cannot open them and you cannot repair them. In the US there has been a slightly different focus. It has been much more about farm machinery and the like, as well as auto vehicles.

I think this is very much a consumer-led campaign. For those who are motivated by it, there is a lot of research online and it is well worth getting involved in some of those campaigns.

Economy—performance

MR PETTERSSON: My question is for the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the latest economic data for the territory?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. Yes, I can. Gross state product for the territory grew by 2.4 per cent in the most recent data in a period when the Australian economy, in fact, went backwards by 0.3 per cent. Our state final demand grew by 2.1 per cent over the year to March 2021. That is slightly above Australia’s GDP growth in that period of 1.8 per cent. Retail trade turnover is up 7.3 per cent over the year to June 2021 and retail spending is around 17½ per cent above decade average levels in the March quarter.

Housing finance sees the number of owner-occupier commitments up 47½ per cent over the year to June 2021. The number of first home buyer commitments is up 41 per cent and the number of investment commitments is up nearly 110 per cent in the most recent data. On building approvals, the total number of residential dwellings approved increased by 31.3 per cent in June 2021.

I note that the Property Council put out their office market report. The Property Council advised that the latest report for the ACT reveals strong market demand, with


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