Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 346 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that the continued Federal Government reductions in the Australian Public Service are a huge problem for the ACT. Mr Speaker, it shows, I think, that the continued approach that this Government has taken to encourage small businesses to expand in the ACT and to encourage new businesses to come to Canberra and to set up here is essential. The only way that those jobs will be picked up in the ACT and the only way that we can ensure that those people stay in the ACT is by having a booming local economy. Mr Speaker, over the last 12 months or so - in fact, 18 months - we have seen a turnaround in the ACT economy, much quicker than many people gave credit for. That shows, Mr Speaker, that the policies that we have put in place over the last three years are and will be essential for the future; otherwise those jobs that would appear to be lost from the Australian Public Service will not be able to be picked up by the private sector. I present the following paper:

Impact of the 1998-99 Federal Budget on the ACT - ministerial statement, 19 May 1998.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR QUINLAN (3.41): Mr Speaker, I find some of what was said in that speech a little ominous, inasmuch as we must take into account the impact of this budget and it is overall a budget that has parked the Australian economy over in the parking lane off the freeway - or, if not that, at least in the slow lane. In relation to capital works - and this is the area in which the Commonwealth can make some contribution to stimulating the ACT economy - there is not a great deal of good news. While the National Museum of Australia funding and the very fast train project tax breaks are welcome, they are some way off and, effectively, on the drawing board in terms of the effect they might have. The capital works in the Parliamentary Triangle replace other projects which are already winding down or are completed. What we have seen is a regurgitation of previous capital works announcements - something that seems to be being elevated to an artform in this town.

The new road funding is very welcome, particularly the continued works along the Lake George black spots which have claimed so many lives; but here, Mr Speaker, we sorely need some focus on local firms. While spending in the region is good for Canberra, it could be much more beneficial if more works went to local firms. Unfortunately, most of these contracts are let out in very large lumps and the firms centred in Canberra are virtually incapable of tendering and are blown out of the water by the very large companies. I would like to think that either the Federal Government or the ACT Government would focus their attention on the issue and examine how local firms can profit from what is offered in the local budget. Given the penchant we have within the ACT for awarding contracts outside the Territory, it would take some form of change. I need not remind members of which State received the contract for the failed Feel the Power of Canberra campaign.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .