Page 262 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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circumstances such as this to move into deficit; that when the private sector is contracting, the public sector might be seen to be compelled to expand. And if that produces a deficit at that contractionary stage of the economic cycle then we can be fairly confident that a government will be in surplus during the expansionary stages.

There might be another economic philosophy which is all about never running deficits, but this is not a philosophy that is being supported by many economic commentators who are supportive of government spending and maybe going into deficit. The key issue for these commentators is that it is the right sort of spending. I will go into what the right sort of spending is later in my speech.

At this stage, it is more important to look at what we can do to deal with the economic situation we find ourselves in than it is to blame the government for not having the foresight about the global economic crisis that no other government in Australia had either. We need to map out the way forward. In the 1930s, Franklin D Roosevelt brought in a program of public works spending which lifted the United States out of the Great Depression. This, of course, was the New Deal.

Today, we face some significant issues which, taken together, provide us with a challenge which will require an effort similar to that which was needed to end the Great Depression. We face the global economic crisis coupled with increasingly scarce fossil fuels and the huge problem of climate change.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.


Legislative Assembly—ministerial statements

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.00): This evening in the adjournment debate I want to reflect on the approach adopted by the Liberal Party today in relation to ministerial statements and to again express the disappointment of my colleagues and me at the refusal of the Liberal Party to permit ministers to make ministerial statements.

It seems to me that the Liberal Party are yet to conclude what their view is on this matter. Yesterday, we saw them agree to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister making their ministerial statements, but today we saw the churlish refusal of the Liberal Party to permit Mr Hargreaves and me to make them. I wonder what their position will be tomorrow when, as was indicated last week, Mr Barr seeks to make his ministerial statement. Maybe they will decide it on the toss of a coin, Mr Speaker.

It is a disappointment because I was hoping today, as Attorney-General, and in the capacity of my other key portfolios, as Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water and Minister for Energy, to talk about the future directions I have for my portfolios and to provide that information to the Assembly.

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