Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 6 March 2008) . . Page.. 617 ..
MR STANHOPE: Over and above that, there were record levels of investment in the ACT last year, of $5.3 billion—
Mr Smyth: So the bureau is wrong.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Cease interjecting, Mr Smyth.
MR STANHOPE: the highest level of investment in the ACT in its history—as I have said before, surpassing the previous record of 20 years ago with the construction of the new Parliament House. We have a very strong economy performing extremely well. Against all of the indicators, the ACT is doing extremely well. Our economy is strong.
One of the risks we have—one of the risks that is always factored in—is the talking down of an economy, the frightening of the horses. There is nervousness within the ACT business community at the moment. There is nervousness within the Treasury. I am nervous about some of the implications for the territory of the coming federal budget and the efficiencies which the commonwealth is making as a result of 10 years of Liberal Party mismanagement, with eight consecutive interest rate rises since August 2005, an additional $4,400 on the—
Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The question was: “How do you explain the fact that gross private fixed capital formation has declined each quarter for the past four quarters?” I think the Chief Minister should come to the question.
MR SPEAKER: I think the Chief Minister was on the subject matter.
MR STANHOPE: I was, and I will go to that issue and some of the implications of why there has been less investment. It goes to the appalling financial management of the Liberal Party federally, the fact that there have been 20 consecutive interest rate increases. Over the last four quarters, the people of Canberra—a knowing, aware community at the heart of government administration—have been aware of the implications of the Liberal Party induced eight consecutive interest rate rises since August 2005.
Mr Smyth: That is not what the Reserve Bank said.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth, stop interjecting.
MR STANHOPE: I can tell Mr Smyth quite specifically and directly why some Canberrans have reduced their level of investment in the way that he asks about, in the context of the question he asks. That is because the Liberal Party spent furiously, did nothing about inflation and allowed the economy to get out of control, leading to eight consecutive interest rate rises since August 2005. People have had to redirect their discretionary funding into the fundamentals of life—essentially their mortgage. If in two years you have suffered, as the people of Canberra and Australia have, eight consecutive interest rate rises, adding $4,400 a year to an average mortgage, then of course your capacity to invest otherwise is seriously thwarted.