Page 625 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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If Mr Corbell did inform you, is there a reason that you ignored this advice?

As I have just answered, Mr Corbell did inform me.

Was your letter to Members prompted by questioning from the Canberra Times?

No, my letter to members was prompted by an earnest desire to correct an honest mistake which I had made on 19 December, for which I apologised yesterday. As the Queen of Hearts proposes, if one says something often enough, perhaps it will be listened to—I apologise again today, Mr Seselja, for a third time.

MR SPEAKER: Just before we move on to questions, Chief Minister, if you do want to raise a matter of privilege, standing order 276 requires that you put that in writing if you want it to be formally looked into.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you for that advice. We are, I am sure, bemused by such coincidences as occurred today.

Questions without notice

Economy—stimulus package

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer and relates to the impact of the Rudd government’s stimulus package. In answering a question on the impact of the package on inflation, employment and gross state product yesterday, you said:

… 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.

Treasurer, when exactly will you be in a position to answer the question?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. We normally report twice a year on a comprehensive range of indicators. That is usually done in the midyear review and in the ACT budget. If there are ways for me to provide the information that you sought, across a range of questions yesterday, earlier than that, I will provide it to the Assembly.

I have to say again that there seems to be a misunderstanding of the aims of the stimulus package. Whilst I understand your desire to see economic modelling done, correct and ready to go within two working days of the announcement of the package, the idea behind the stimulus package is for the government to invest when the national economy is slowing and to do it quickly, target the investment and support jobs. That is what the package is about.

You might not understand that or agree with that or you might want more information about that. I think this will be genuinely quite difficult to measure, because it is about maintaining employment, supporting jobs that might be lost if no action is taken. There is already a prediction that unemployment will rise. This is trying to offset some of the pretty catastrophic projections that could possibly emerge if the federal government’s stimulus package does not go through.

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