Page 1586 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 31 March 2009

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Planning—Ministerial statement, 31 March 2009.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Economy—revenue base

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Doszpot be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The ACT government’s revenue base.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (3.06): Madam Assistant Speaker, I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to raise another matter of public importance in this chamber. The issue we are discussing today, the ACT government’s revenue base, is indeed a matter of public importance, and one that goes to the heart of the economic past, present and future of the ACT.

Last week we debated a motion brought to us by Mr Smyth, which addressed the poor handling of our economy by the Stanhope-Gallagher government. We, the opposition, lamented the fact that we have been led to the point of being in a recession, technical or otherwise. The purpose of that particular motion was to analyse the actions of our current government and to advise the community of the outcome of that analysis.

In this instance we, as an opposition, raised our concerns about the way in which the Stanhope-Gallagher government have handled the ACT economy, particularly over the last few years, and certainly over the last seven years. A critical factor in this debate was this government’s response to what has now become a significant global economic downturn. Today we have the opportunity to analyse another component of our economic status. That is the way in which we make our money—our revenue base.

The matter of the ACT government’s revenue base is a particularly important issue at the moment. Governments around the world are facing significant pressures because of the global economic downturn. Australia and the ACT are no exception. Let us consider the current situation in the ACT.

The private sector is under pressure. For example, the latest Sensis survey showed that business confidence has continued to decline. According to the Sensis Business Index released on 5 March, on the back of continued weak trading conditions business confidence in the ACT has slipped further over the last three months. The business

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