Page 4915 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: commitment, the level of satisfaction and of confidence shown in the territory by the business and private sector in the ACT.

Mr Mulcahy: The federal government has done pretty well, Jon.

MR STANHOPE: Just go outside, gain a vantage point and look around the horizon. Just look around the horizon.

Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was not about the view outside. The question was: what actions are you initiating to reduce expenditure on capital works?

Mr Seselja: He doesn’t know; he can’t answer.

MR SPEAKER: It is fair enough to ask the Chief Minister to come back to the subject matter. But it is fair also for the Chief Minister to reflect on the economy generally in response to the question.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I am and with pleasure. I do not believe that there has ever, in the 35 years that I have lived in Canberra, been the explicit level of confidence that there is currently in this community in the territory and its future. Just walk outside and walk around. Walk out this door into Civic Square and gaze around. Just gaze around, look at the level of confidence, look at the level of activity, look at the level of development and seek to imagine, if you can—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: the implications of that for the economy of this territory, the strength of the economy and the confidence that the people of Canberra have in this government and in this economy, and the expenditure at unprecedented levels in the future of Canberra. Of course, it does not stop at just what one can see by taking the trouble to walk outside. But it is interesting, in the context of the question coming from the Leader of the Opposition as of today, to reflect back on the approach that the opposition would have taken to the economy, and of course the essential Keynesian approach, as espoused by the Leader of the Opposition, about the need to simply spend, spend, spend as a way of assuring our future.


MR STANHOPE: Our economy is performing at a level—and it is reflected, of course, in the fact that—

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister’s time has expired.

MR SMYTH: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, given that you made a commitment to fund a substantial capital works component in your 55

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