Page 1209 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 9 April 2008
It goes on and on. Big businesses throughout Australia are feeling morose as a result of the dampening of domestic demand as a result of incompetent management by Howard, Costello and the Liberal Party—inability to manage the economy in recent years. They talk quite specifically about the eight interest rate rises that have been imposed on the people of Australia and the implications and effect of those interest rate rises on business confidence. We see it again today, with Colin Brinsden’s lead story in the business pages talking about how morose business throughout Australia is as a result of the implications of inflation and interest rate rises driven by incompetent Liberal Party economic management.
We saw that repeated most starkly by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr Stevens, in his evidence to a parliamentary committee just last week. He commented again that the inflation was driven by outrageous and reckless spending by the commonwealth through 2007. In fact, during 2007 the commonwealth spent at twice the average rate of expenditure in recent years when it dawned on Peter Costello and John Howard not only that they might lose government but, in the case of the Prime Minister, that he would actually lose his seat. He just went berserk and committed to such reckless spending that we see the implications today—the legacy, and an ongoing legacy, throughout the community.
We even find that business support for the Liberal Party has gone west. The 250 Club are no longer prepared to support the Liberal Party, because they want to support candidates in parties that actually support business and they know that that is not the Liberal Party. They know it is not the Liberal Party. I look forward to speaking with Mr Jim Murphy about his intentions in his support for the Labor Party, the party that supports business in Canberra.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Mr Stefaniak.
MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Thank you, Chief Minister, but what is your government doing to protect the jobs of those Canberrans from the Rudd razor gang?
MR STANHOPE: What my government has done, and I am pleased and proud that we have, is to show the necessary economic management and commitment to the ACT and to the ACT’s budgetary and economic position to ensure that we have the capacity to actually soften the blow. We are taking staff. NCA staff have moved seamlessly across to ACTPLA as a result of the efficiencies that were driven in the NCA from the Liberal Party incompetence.
What we have done is actually create a budgetary position and a balance sheet that is the envy of governments around Australia which gives us the capacity to respond to the bumps of the cycle in which the economy is staying. You know, this is still a company town with a single major employer, namely, the commonwealth, and when the commonwealth, that major employer, actually hits a road bump, the entire ACT economy feels the shock from that bump. But we have a capacity through the strength of our budget at least to be able to move to ameliorate the implications of that particular bump and to ensure that we have the capacity to continue to enhance services to the people of the ACT in the way that we have done over the last six years.