Page 1840 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013
MR BARR: The Prime Minister gave a commitment on the 99th birthday of this city to Canberra being the home of the national government. That contrasts with the position that was put by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Abbott, who suggested that jobs should be moved to Townsville, Karratha, Geelong—
Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance. The question was very specific as to whether the minister would write to the current Prime Minister to ask for her commitment. I would ask him to address that specific question.
MADAM SPEAKER: The standing orders require that the answer be concise and directly relevant. Could you be relevant to the question, Mr Barr?
MR BARR: Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister has already given a commitment to Canberra and that stands in direct contrast to those opposite.
MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question.
MS PORTER: Minister, how important is it to continue to support employment growth in Canberra?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for the question. It is, indeed, very important, and it is why the government has embarked upon the economic policies that we have—to reform the territory’s taxation system, to remove the deadweight loss of inefficient taxes on our business and household sectors, to ensure we cut payroll tax, to cut taxes on insurance, to reduce transaction taxes and to ensure that economic activity is supported in the territory. It is why this government has invested in more community services, in more health services, in better education services and in employing more people to deliver services to the people of Canberra.
Whether it is in my colleague Minister Corbell’s portfolios—in emergency services in recent years with more ambulance officers and more firefighters—or in the Chief Minister’s portfolios—in health with more doctors and more nurses—or in Minister Burch’s portfolios—in education with more teachers and more support for people with a disability through the NDIS—or in Minister Rattenbury’s portfolios—in territory and municipal services with more services to deliver enhanced municipal services to the ACT—or in my own portfolios, this government is working hard to ensure that the territory economy continues to grow and that we continue to see new jobs created in this city.
That is clearly demonstrated in today’s employment figures that set a new all-time record for the level of employment in the ACT. And only those opposite would seek to talk down a new record level of employment in the territory, because they have no interest in the territory’s economic future. Their only interest is to talk this economy down. The Liberal Party are the party of recession in this city. It has been demonstrated time and again, and we see it here again today.