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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 2006 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

The latest business expectations survey by the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry also shows that one in five firms expect to employ more staff in the next quarter and that the confidence is at a 21/2-year high. Mr Speaker, the reality here, quite clearly, is that this is an economy on the move.

Mr Speaker, it was surprising, then, that the majority report of the Estimates Committee claimed that there was a growing social deficit in Canberra.

Mr Corbell: There is.

MS CARNELL: Mr Corbell said that there is. Where is the evidence? Mr Speaker, they did not put any facts or figures in the Estimates Committee report, but this Government does have facts and figures. On three key social indicators - welfare dependency, wage and salary earnings, and the proportion of low-income earners as a percentage of the population - the ACT stands light years ahead of the rest of Australia. That does not indicate a struggling economy, Mr Speaker.

I would suggest that every member should take the time to look at these figures, which we did attach to our response this morning to the report of the Estimates Committee. Mr Speaker, that shows two things. First, and most importantly, it highlights the resilience of the private and public sectors in Canberra in the face of the downturn over the last two years. Secondly, it shows quite categorically how out of touch those opposite are, especially Mr Quinlan. To suggest for one moment that this economy is still struggling is simply ridiculous, Mr Speaker. But I would have to say, taking into account that the Labor Party still does not have any policies on anything, that it is not terribly surprising. They stand for nothing, Mr Speaker.

Mr Quinlan: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker, before I ask my question. Mr Moore was overheard to say, in response to my interjection, "That's another lie". I would ask you to ask him to withdraw it.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on the point of order - - -

MR SPEAKER: I did not hear that.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I understand that it was a reference to something which had been said by Mr Quinlan outside the chamber.

Mr Quinlan: Excuse me. Mr Humphries, if you do not know what I am talking about, why do you not stay out of the point of order. Mr Speaker, to clarify for Mr Humphries' information, it was in response to my remark: "I have high standards".

Mr Humphries: No, I am sorry, Mr Speaker. I heard the remark and it was something different.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, Mr Humphries. I had better ask Mr Moore. Mr Moore, what was it as a result of?

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