Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5243 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
The events of just the last few days have confirmed the strategies already laid out in that white paper.
MR HARGREAVES: I have a supplementary question. In that context, can the Treasurer advise the Assembly of the economic condition of the ACT and the foundation upon which the white paper builds?
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the supplementary question bears no resemblance at all to the question about the University of Canberra and the ANU.
MR HARGREAVES: On the point of order: in the Treasurer's answer to my question, he referred to the economic white paper, and I wanted supplementary information on that.
Mrs Dunne: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: the supplementary question should be about the question, not the answer.
MR SPEAKER: I think it is fair enough. Proceed, Mr Quinlan.
MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank Mr Hargreaves for another positive question. As a shadow Treasurer and a Treasurer, I have not been one to ascribe all the successes within the ACT economy to the actions of government. However, we have to be doing something right. I spent the best part of four years on that side of the house listening to the sequential chief ministers telling us that they were absolutely responsible for anything good that happened within the economy.
Mrs Dunne: But you're not doing anything. You have to do something first!
MR QUINLAN: Just indulge me at the end of the year. Sit back and enjoy some good news for the season! For example, we have low unemployment. Today it is at 3.9 per cent, effectively full employment. We have concerns about employers being able to find people to fit various jobs. As the unemployment figures flowed out during the previous government, we put up with the Treasurer and the Chief Minister telling us what a great job they had done.
Well, here we go: we have 3.9 per cent. State final demand: average quarterly growth under the current government was 1.2 per cent; under the previous government's last 12 months it was 0.3 per cent. Retail trade: average monthly growth under the current government was 0.34 per cent; under the previous government's last 12 months it was 0.88 per cent, and under the previous government from March to October 1995 it was 0.58 per cent. The highest level of business confidence, as measured by the Sinsis-the former Yellow Pages-Business Index under the current government was 78 per cent; under the previous government's last 12 months it was 56 per cent. Et cetera, et cetera.
What this government is doing is working with business, and it is succeeding. That work and the success of that work are shown in these clinical, objective measurements.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, in relation to your points of order, I refer you to standing order 119.