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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (16 April) . . Page.. 912 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

The passage of that Commonwealth Bill has been delayed due to the Federal election and it is expected to be passed in the winter sitting. If the financial reporting requirements of that Bill are altered, the relevant provisions in our Bill will need to be amended. Hence the undesirability of finalising the detail stage today. Accordingly, Mr Speaker, when it comes to the detail stage, I will be seeking to adjourn the debate. I have already informed both Ms McRae and Mr Moore of that. I thank members for their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail Stage

Clause 1

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 11.56 am to 2.30 pm


Public Sector - Job Cuts

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question without notice is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, given that accommodation takings in the ACT tourism industry have increased by only 0.8 per cent in the last 12 months, compared with 12 per cent nationally and a 5.4 per cent inflation rate; given that the retail turnover in the ACT has increased by only 4.2 per cent, well below the national figure of 8 per cent and also below inflation; given that in the building industry the value of residential approvals has plummeted by 40 per cent in the last 12 months, compared with a national average of 10.8 per cent; and given that business expectations in the ACT for the forthcoming year are already well below the national average - can you explain to the ACT community how public servants who will lose their jobs will get jobs in the private sector, or do you really agree with your colleague Mr Kaine that it is far more probable that sacked public servants will pack their bags and leave Canberra?

MRS CARNELL: It is interesting, Mr Speaker, that statistics can be used to show really anything. One of the very interesting things that Mr Whitecross brought up was the issue of building approvals. Of course, Mr Whitecross would be aware that, for the last five months, building approvals have actually increased, after 17 months of solid decrease. That really shows a turnaround in the ACT. There is no doubt that the first few months of this year, after the Federal election was called, saw a slowdown, shall we say, in the ACT economy. In fact, according to OFM, exactly the same problem occurred in the last three elections that they looked at. What happens when a Federal election is called? ACT people stop spending. They get a little bit touchy, shall we say. I can fully understand that.

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