Page 502 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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as ours where the commonwealth is, and always will be, the major employer as well as a major customer of local goods and services. I make no apology for being conscious of this truth or for publicly commenting on this truth. The massive cuts and redundancies made by the Liberal Party in the wake of a 1996 election are still fresh in the memories of many of us. I tend to learn from history, not to rewrite it, as those opposite seem desirous of doing today.

I also take care to represent forcefully to my federal colleagues the potential impacts of their decisions upon the fortunes of the ACT and the Canberra community. To date, I have met with and personally raised my concerns with five federal ministers, including the Prime Minister, and most recently with Minister Garrett to whom I represented the ACT government’s concern at the impacts of efficiency demands being made on the national cultural institutions as recently as last Friday. I also told Minister Garrett that I understood that those efficiencies, however unpalatable, were a result of the inflationary pressures and the economic position that this government has inherited from the previous Liberal government—the bitter legacy, the bitter pill of mismanagement by the previous Liberal regime.

Let us go to that legacy for a few moments. Let us go to the Liberal Party’s legacy of economic mismanagement and the impact of not addressing these issues on Canberra families, the people for whom I have a great concern. At times we have to look hard at the decisions we need to take to address the evil of those 12 interest rate rises. The Reserve Bank of Australia has now raised interest rates on eight occasions, by a full two per cent, since March 2005. There was no mention of this, of course, by Mr Seselja or the Liberal Party in addressing this particular motion today.

There have been eight interest rate rises since March 2005, raising interest rates, the cash rate, by a full two per cent. A typical Canberra mortgage holder, a young Canberra working family with an average loan here in the ACT now faces an extra $367 per month in interest payments—an additional $4,404 a year—since March 2005. Over the life of an average loan by a young Canberra family that additional $4,404 a year equates to an additional $110,000 in interest payments.

Over the last two years, as a result of the mismanagement of the Liberal Party, there have been eight interest rate rises, totalling two per cent, resulting in an additional $4,404 a year and an additional $110,000 over the life of an average mortgage, and the Liberal Party ignore this. In a 15-minute address by the Leader of the Opposition about the impacts of measures that the current government is taking to ameliorate the impacts of inflation—

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order as to relevance, Mr Speaker. This is a motion about the impact on national institutions.

MR STANHOPE: It is getting a bit close to home, is it? The Liberal Party does not care about a $4,400 impost on young Canberra families.


Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I have the floor.

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