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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 460 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

We are working hard at it. We will consult broadly. We will have a major draft available for the middle of the year. The latest announcement is that we hope to finish the work by the end of the year.

MS DUNDAS: I ask a supplementary question. Since it is essential that economic growth benefit those in greatest need, why has progress on the social plan lagged behind progress on both the economic white paper and the spatial plan, which in comparison are both progressing quite rapidly?

MR STANHOPE: If the question was about the social plan and not the economic white paper or the spatial plan, can the supplementary question be about those matters, Mr Speaker?

This is absolutely puerile. You have a government that is concerned about the future. You have a government that is determined to act strategically. You have a government with a vision. You have a government that is looking to the future. Yet we have this juvenile pecking from the old crossbench-all care, no responsibility. What a classic-all care, no responsibility, pecking away at a government that is doing the first strategic work that has ever been done by a government since self-government.

Economic discussion paper

MS MacDONALD: Minister, following the release of Building Canberra's economy a discussion paper for the economic white paper, can you inform the Assembly of the process that was undertaken by the government to compile the discussion paper, and what actions were taken to gather information from the community in general and the business community in particular?

MR QUINLAN: It is important to inform the house that, yes, there was extensive consultation before the preparation of the discussion paper. Specifically, quite a number of organisations were written to and were met with by officers. We also had some briefings, which I was involved in.

We wrote to a number of organisations-the main stakeholders. We wrote to the Chamber of Commerce, ACOSS, Australian Business Ltd, the AHA, Business Canberra, the University of Canberra, the ANU, the Canberra Business Council, CREEDA, the Housing Industry Association, our own knowledge-based economy committee, the small business committee, the Motor Trades Association, the Property Council and the Trades and Labour Council, most of whom made an effort to respond.

The letter that they responded to suggested that the government would like to work closely with peak business, labour and planning organisations. To this end, we offered the opportunity to contribute advice to the white paper, outlining issues seen as being of great relevance, where possible analysis and data support for action might be needed. We would encourage people to think widely, beyond traditional industry policy, et cetera.

It is important to note that most of those people did respond. To give just one specific example, the Canberra Business Council responded with 39 suggestions, some of which, as you would expect, were to give business a little more there and a little bit more there.

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