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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2967 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Stanhope asked a question on notice, question No. 176, about this matter and I provided a response recently. All of the information is on the table. We will do what any government should do and protect the interests of the Territory. When a contractor does not perform as per a contract, then this Government will enter into dispute with that contractor. I would hope that those opposite would do the same.

State of the Territory Report

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I give an undertaking that I will not raise Kaine. My question is to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. It relates to the development of the ACT's first ever state of the Territory report. Can the Chief Minister explain why the Government has decided to produce such a report and whether it will be the first of its kind in Australia?

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 117(c)(ii). This question seems to ask for an announcement of Executive policy and is out of order.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Corbell. I am not aware whether it is Executive policy but, if it is, of course then the question is out of order.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, it has been announced. Obviously, those opposite do not know about it. I think it is something that everybody would be interested in. There are very few in this place who would argue against the notion that the quality of life we enjoy in the ACT is amongst the best in Australia, possibly amongst the best in the world. For example, we have very good infrastructure, relatively high average incomes, low unemployment, good health and education systems, plenty of open green spaces to enjoy and a great environment.

Mr Stanhope: And a good football stadium.

MS CARNELL: And a great football stadium. Mr Kevin Neil from the Raiders said it was one of the great football stadiums of Australia. But are these things necessarily the best and most useful measure of the quality of life that all of us as Canberrans want to enjoy? It is a question that has been occupying my mind and the mind of the Government for some time now. It is true that what seems to make the most impact upon media commentators, certainly some politicians in this place, is the kinds of statistics that are primarily economic in nature - things like unemployment rates, state final demand, building approval figures, and new vehicle registrations, all of which are very good at the moment.

All of these indicators are useful in themselves, in that they reveal how the ACT economy is performing. But they do not help give the Government and the communities that they represent a complete picture of the overall impact of changes and the overall impact on ordinary Canberrans of policies that we make in this place. Nor do they give us much of a guide as to the other factors that are important in the lives of the people we represent - such things as our sense of health and wellbeing, our environment, the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink, how safe we feel at home or how safe we feel when we are out and about, how active we are as a community in a recreational sense or as volunteers and how these things compare to the rest of Australia.

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