Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1101 ..
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Foskey?
DR FOSKEY: I will ask my supplementary in case the answer is no. Could the Chief Minister please advise the Assembly if any shares will be divested, any shareholder votes will be guided or any speeches in company shareholder meetings will be delivered as a result of the review of government investment portfolios before the next ACT election?
MR STANHOPE: I am more than happy to take that question on notice. As members would be aware, the government did receive a report in relation to our investment policies and the government indicated that it would implement each of the recommendations of that, but in response to the specific questions asked by Dr Foskey I take the questions on notice.
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. Chief Minister, in evidence given to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics last week, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Glenn Stevens, when talking about the Australian economy, said: “There is at least some evidence that a moderation in demand is occurring.” Chief Minister, what evaluation have you undertaken of this moderation in demand and what impact is anticipated on the ACT economy?
MR STANHOPE: Yes, there is a moderation in demand. Surprise, surprise! It seems to be something that surprises both the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer that there is a moderation in demand. As the Reserve Bank has indicated, it is a moderation in demand that is affecting the whole of Australia, as a result of steps that the Reserve Bank has taken to address inflation—the great legacy of the Howard-Costello Liberal Party. The Reserve Bank, of course, is quite right, Mr Stefaniak. It is appropriate and convenient that you have drawn attention to the attitude, advice and evidence given by the Reserve Bank to that committee inquiry about moderation in demand, as a result of the actions, inactions and sheer negligence of the Liberal Party in driving up inflation, due to its economic mismanagement of the national economy.
Yes, there will be a flow-on effect in the ACT. There is a moderation in and a softening of activity within the territory, commensurate with what is occurring around the nation as a result of the availability of capital, as a result of some nervousness within the market about inflation, and as a result of the consequences and the impact of the interest rate rises that are a direct response to increasing inflation in the nation—the Liberal Party legacy—which is impacting on all Canberrans and, indeed, on all Australians. I refer most particularly to young families, who are finding that their mortgage payments have increased, on an average mortgage, by $370 a month, courtesy of the Liberal Party. So you are quite right, Mr Stefaniak, to draw attention to the evidence given by the Reserve Bank in relation to the causes of a moderating economy and a lessening in demand. It is directly attributable to the Liberal Party—to your party, Mr Stefaniak.