Page 1081 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009

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package. We see that replicated and mirrored here over this last week in relation to decisions and issues confronting this community, most particularly through the $350 million of that stimulus package that will come to the ACT in capital payments to our schools in the government and non-government sector and for public housing.

It is a matter of grave concern that we do not have a unity of view or attitude or resolve to deal with the issues that our community will and does confront in relation to the global financial crisis. It screams at us today from the front page of the Canberra Times that 2,000 jobs are lost. I find it remarkable that, while we have a screaming banner headline from the Canberra Times today that 2,000 more jobs go, just over this last three days in this place we have seen the continuing resistance, the continuing denial by the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer to take seriously the need for us as a community to work together, for the community to support the government and for everybody in this place to support the government in taking every step that needs to be taken to do what we can do.

One of the significant things that we can do is to work with the commonwealth in relation to the $350 million worth of capital injection into this community which needs to be dealt with urgently. We do need the Liberal Party, the opposition, the alternative government in this place, to actually forsake the temptation of the undergraduate stunt, the immediate knee-jerk determination to oppose the government at every step, the instinctive decision not to support regulations proposed by the Minister for Planning and Minister for Education to ensure that the $230 million of capital provided by the commonwealth to our government and non-government primary school sector can be delivered and be delivered as quickly as possible.

It is of grave concern to me that the reference to 2,000 more jobs to go and the estimates by all economists and governments around Australia that unemployment will have at least doubled over the next year are references to people. The Canberra Times headline—I repeat it, 2,000 jobs to go—provides us with that insight most starkly, an insight which just seems to froth over the Liberal Party. We talk about unemployment doubling here in the ACT to perhaps somewhere between five and six per cent and nationally between seven and eight per cent. For us, that is another 2,000 Canberrans out of jobs.

This is not just a bland statistic; these are people. This is another 2,000 families without a wage earner. This is 2,000 more families not able to pay the mortgage or the rent. This is 2,000 more families not able to meet all of the needs and requirements of their children. Yet we have this continuing undergraduate, instinctive political determination to obstruct, to stop, to prevent, to hinder the government getting on with the job of doing everything within our power to ensure that we ameliorate the impacts of the global financial crisis here in the territory. It has been a sad week. As the government strives to deal with the implications of the global financial crisis, we are stopped and hindered every step of the way by a Liberal Party determined to just obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, because they can.

Economy—stimulus package

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer and relates to the third appropriation bill. Treasurer, today in a statement to the press you said:

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