Page 469 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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19 December was not correct. It was a statement in relation to damages and arrangements in relation to damages relating to delays in the final, formal commissioning of the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

I had informed members that the statement I made was not correct, that it was misplaced. I was mistaken in the information I had available to me. I have corrected the record through the letter, but I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the mistake and to apologise to members for misleading them on that occasion.

Questions without notice

Economy—stimulus package

MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, yesterday the opposition received a briefing from your senior officials on the commonwealth government’s proposed stimulus package that included terms such as “guesstimate”, “not sure”, “still working out the detail”, “waiting for the numbers”, “all in the melting pot”, “forming on an hourly basis” and “we don’t know”. Treasurer, what will be the impact of this proposed stimulus package in the ACT on inflation, employment and gross state product?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. As the member said, yesterday there was a briefing provided to the opposition in a spirit of cooperation and providing as much information as we can around the ACT impact of the national plan that was announced on Thursday of last week.

We expect that that plan will deliver around $350 million into the ACT economy over the next two to three years and I think the time lines in terms of meeting some of the deadlines around acquittal of that money are known to the opposition. I think when we look at what the aim of that package was, we will see that the intention of that package is to instil confidence in the people of Australia that the national government is responding to some of the economic indicators that we are seeing around our economy over the next 12 to 18 months.

The idea is to put money into supporting jobs, to build assets up, to invest in education and in social housing. That is the idea behind the stimulus package. It is for a government to invest when perhaps there is not the level of investment that we would have hoped in the economy.

But I think some of those questions that Mr Seselja asked are very difficult to answer. I do not think I am in a position to be able to answer that question today. Perhaps the motivation behind that package is really to provide some confidence to the community and to invest in the community. Flowing on from that investment—it is a significant investment—we would perhaps see some amelioration in some of the worst case scenarios that are being envisaged in relation to unemployment. It is to maintain jobs and to make sure that people understand the national government will act. I think they should be congratulated for that. I hope that their package does pass the federal parliament so that we can get on with the job of delivering it and making sure that our local businesses are able to keep on workers in areas where these projects will benefit.

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