Page 1510 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 7 May 2008

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Mr Pratt: The Liberal Party saved the Australian economy a long time ago, mate, after you blokes stuffed it.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Mr Pratt.

MR PRATT: Treasurer, what are the implications for your budget if your forecast for the consumer price index is too low?

MR STANHOPE: There are some risks. I acknowledged this in my presentation of the budget. There are risks; we are aware of that. At one level, the reason the budget has been delivered in the way that it has—the reason we have taken the tough decisions over recent years—is to ensure that our budget position is sustainable, so that we can weather those risks, so that we can survive the buffeting that we might have to endure.

There is a level of confidence within the community. You saw that yourself this morning in terms of the significant endorsement that the budget received from the business council of the ACT. Chris Peters—I will have to completely revise my opinion—from the chamber of commerce was glowing in his support of the budget, as were the business council, the Master Builders Association and all reasonable commentators and significant private sector groups—the respected business representatives—in the ACT. That is the view of the business community in the ACT.

It is about our capacity to weather the storms. The budget I have delivered and constructed together with my colleagues was designed to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that we can use the levers available to us to continue to support economic growth in the territory. It is wonderful to have from the business community in the territory that strong endorsement of the strategic approach we have taken in this particular budget. I am sure that the Governor of the Reserve Bank would also endorse those comments.


MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in yesterday’s Canberra Times, there was a report in relation to the closed school sites which included a chronology of contradictions made by your ministers and even by you yourself. The report said:

Education Minister Andrew Barr promised in mid-2006 that no land sales would result from school closures but he was later contradicted by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope—


who said the sites were likely to be developed for homes.

I recall you saying that on radio 666. Yesterday’s Canberra Times report went on to quote Minister Gallagher as stating:

We’re putting all types of housing options on the agenda or up for discussion.

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