Page 636 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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As the detail of this is worked through, Treasury will provide me with advice, but I am not sure it is the best use of Treasury’s time today, without all the information available to them, to do modelling on a package for which they do not have all the details.

Treasurer, when exactly will you be able to provide the Assembly and the community with more information on an issue that will have an acute impact on the bottom line of the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: It appears that the question time tactical group of the Liberal Party really struggled this week. After a break since December we have the first sitting week, and this is the quality of the questions. I mean, honestly, Mr Doszpot, I think somebody else has already asked me that question.

When the bill passes the Senate, I imagine that would be the best point from which we should start. That bill has not passed the Senate yet; there may be changes to it. Treasury are working on the details we currently have. I have already committed to provide as much information as I can to the Assembly when it becomes available, and I will do so. With all the public comments, it does appear that there may be some changes to the package, and I really think that it is not unreasonable that we wait until the bill passes before Treasury does any advanced modelling of the package. In fact, I imagine if we had done the modelling work and I was releasing it today, the criticism might be that we had not waited until the final details were known. Come on, guys!

Economy—stimulus package

MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer and relates to the impact of the Rudd government’s stimulus package. In answering a question on the potential increases of residential construction costs as a by-product of an increased capital works program, you said:

… it is not expected that this stimulus package would raise the cost of capital infrastructure for householders or businesses.

Treasurer, I have been informed that the senior officials who provided the briefing stated that there had been no analysis at all done on potential increases in residential construction costs and therefore were not able to answer the question. Treasurer, what is the basis of your claim that there will not be an impact on residential construction costs?

MS GALLAGHER: I guess I am looking around—

Mr Hanson: It’s the vibe.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Let’s hear from the Treasurer.

MS GALLAGHER: It is not. If you look at some of the macroeconomic indicators, you will see that wage prices are falling, CPI is falling and the prices of some building

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