Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2074 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
and it gives the gross lettable area per head of population. The city with the largest area per head of population is Perth, with 2.13 square metres per head of population. The smallest is Canberra, with 1.79 square metres per head of population. The turnover - - -
Mr Moore: Is that supermarkets or all retail space?
MR HUMPHRIES: This is general retail space. The turnover per - - -
Mrs Carnell: That is what he was talking about - general retail space.
MR HUMPHRIES: That is what he was talking about. He was talking about general retail space. He was not talking about supermarkets. You said general retail space, Mr Moore. The turnover per square metre was lowest in Brisbane, with $2,931. The highest was in Canberra, with $3,433 per square metre. What that would suggest, if those figures are accurate, is that - - -
Mr Moore: It depends how you interpret it.
MR HUMPHRIES: It is a question of how you interpret it. What that suggests is that we already have a high density of turnover per square metre and there is a capacity to expand in the ACT. That is essentially what the Ibecon study that was commissioned by the previous Government found. There was more or less a balance in the retail space generally across Canberra. The only area in which there was an oversupply of retail space was in large bulky goods like washing machines, furniture and so on. Mr Speaker, that was based on the position a year and a half or two years ago. Population growth is continuing. There is a case for some expansion of town centres to meet those additional needs. Mr Speaker, I make no apologies for the fact that we have done our homework and we think this policy is appropriate in those circumstances.
MR BERRY: My question is directed to the Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism as the Minister responsible for the introduction of the Trading Hours Bill 1996. Mr De Domenico, do you agree with the statement by Mr Humphries last week that no jobs will be lost by the forced early closure of the town centre supermarkets, because an equivalent number of jobs will be created in group centre supermarkets and suburban supermarkets? Mr Minister, what ACT analysis has been done which supports this claim?
Mrs Carnell: What analysis has been done that does not support it?
MR BERRY: What ACT analysis has been done which supports this claim? Is it not the truth that the whole disastrous policy was based on nothing more than a whim of your Cabinet colleagues, one of whom has an interest in the issue, and that your only motivation was that you thought you might pick up a few cheap votes from the small business sector?