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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4252 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Why is it that there has been a dramatic fall in support for your government's business policies from small and medium enterprises in the ACT?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, this is one of those Gary Humphries situations where, when they are asked a general question such as "Does government get in your road or not?"all of a sudden, it is "your government".

I am prepared to accept that Mr Humphries does not keep abreast and has not observed that, on a wider scale, both nationally and internationally, there is growing concern about business. That generally reflects itself in all of the indices. Let me say that, whilst business confidence has fallen in the ACT, the ACT still enjoys the second highest level of business confidence in Australia.

Mr Humphries: Because they are all Labor governments-that is why. What do you expect? It is going "phfft".

MR QUINLAN: It will go up. It will go up and it will go down. This is about the same question as the hospital waiting lists-you know, ask at the right time. Let me inform members that I did an interview with the Financial Review yesterday. I do not know how that article is going to turn out.

Mr Corbell: It is in the paper today.

MR QUINLAN: Is it? Is it good? All of the feedback that I got from the reporter, Chelsea someone, on the relationship between business and the Labor government was very positive. I am assuming that has been reflected in the Financial Review article today. I am only assuming that.

MR HUMPHRIES: I have a supplementary question. Has the delay in developing the economic white paper of your government made a major contribution to the dramatic fall in business confidence in your government's policies?

MR QUINLAN: No. The short answer to that is no. Of course there are people out there who are impatient and saying, "Give us a look at it."I deal regularly with the business sector. I have met and discussed this particular matter with business leaders in the past couple of weeks. I can assure you that no-as far as I know, with regard to plummeting business confidence-it is not a concern that my paper isn't out this week.

Connors inquiry

MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, you announced on 28 November that you had approved an extension for the Connors inquiry, despite having said only nine days prior:

The Connors inquiry is on track. Ms Connors has indicated to me that she still proposes to submit a report by the end of this month.

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