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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3564 ..

Mrs Dunne (continuing):

Bushfire Recovery Task Force. I will not stand for it any longer. It has been put on the record a number of times. He continues to misrepresent the case. He must stop.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: No. There is no point of order. I ask the minister to please stick to the motion, which is the government's management of the Treasury portfolio.

MR STANHOPE: I will talk about the economic management of the ACT. I refer to an article on 2 September entitled "Canberra Airport will spend $50 million over the next two years upgrading its runway and terminal buildings".

Three weeks ago, we have Mr Terry Snow, the most successful business person in the ACT-a person I admire enormously-saying that he is going to spend $50 million in this town over the next two years, because of his confidence in the management of the ACT economy by this government. That is what Terry Snow thinks of the ACT economy. Terry Snow thinks this economy is going so well that he should invest another $50 million in it.

Turning to some of the other indicators, let us have a look at the unemployment figures here in the ACT. For the last two years, we have had the lowest unemployment rate in Australia. Three months ago, it dropped to 3.3 per cent. We have the lowest unemployment rate any jurisdiction in Australia has experienced since the Menzies years-essentially full employment.

Mrs Cross: It has gone up!

MR STANHOPE: It has gone up, they say, but it is still the lowest by far. We still have the highest participation rate, the highest rate of growth in jobs, and still the lowest unemployment rate in Australia. All these business organisations are lavishing praise on this government and its economic management, yet here we have the Liberals talking it down. They are talking-down confidence, talking-down performance and talking-down the ACT.

They have no notion and no understanding. They cannot accept the fact that, under this Labor government, we have the best-performing economy in Australia, and that this is as a result of the present management. It is two years now. You might wish to hark back and say, "It is all our doing."Just suck it. You have been sitting on that bench for two years. We were very pleased to see you produce your first policy on Sunday!

I will conclude with this remark: the Leader of the Opposition stands up and complains about that inquiry-the white paper. Here we have it, in this amazing speech given by Mr Smyth at his conference, that 24 new inquiries are to be conducted by the Liberal Party over the next 10 months into 24 different issues. There are 24 inquiries to be conducted by the Liberals over the next 10 months! Twenty-four inquiries are to be conducted by the Liberals in the next year! What a joke!

Mrs Dunne: That is a lie, Jon Stanhope-and you know it!

Mrs Burke: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. There was misrepresentation by the Chief Minister to the opposition leader. He did not say "inquiries"; it was "initiatives".

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