Page 2511 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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MR COE: Treasurer, what impact will the light rail project have on other transport capital investments?

MR BARR: That is a hypothetical question, Madam Speaker.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, it is hardly for the minister to determine whether something is hypothetical. That is your role.

MADAM SPEAKER: It is for the presiding officer to determine whether a question is out of order.

Mr Barr: I did not say the question was out of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: But saying it is hypothetical would make it out of order—

Mr Corbell interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: I am making a comment, Mr Corbell. If you would like to contribute to the debate, the usual way is for you to rise to your feet; otherwise you can be quiet. If your answer is, “I’m not answering it because I think that’s hypothetical,” that can be your answer but it is not for you to rule that a question is out of order.


MS BERRY: My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer outline recent economic data that has an impact on the ACT economy which indicates the robustness of the ACT economy?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Berry for the question. I can advise the Assembly that year on year to the March quarter of 2013 state final demand in the territory increased by 3.8 per cent, which was the highest of all of the non-mining jurisdictions. In the 2012-13 fiscal year 3,500 jobs were created in the territory. Employment rose by 1.7 per cent. We now have an all-time record number of people employed in the ACT. Again, the territory recorded the strongest annual employment growth of all of the non-mining jurisdictions. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.7 per cent.

The latest ABS data showed that in the calendar year 2012 the ACT population increased strongly by 2.3 per cent. That would have to be amongst the highest growth levels the territory has ever achieved. It is the second strongest population growth rate in the country behind only Western Australia and the strongest growth rate in more than two decades.

I think it is worth underlining this point—a point that I would hope all in the Assembly would agree with—that our city is a fantastic place to live and people are coming to live here. These figures demonstrate just that point. It is worth noting that the territory recorded the largest inflow of interstate migration since self-government.

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