Page 3598 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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The release of land in Lawson will accommodate 1,850 dwellings in a mix of low, medium and higher density development. The government is also working in partnership with the Riverview Group to deliver a new estate in west Belconnen. Last week I announced with Mr Gentleman, the member for Brindabella, the Southquay development, which will provide a great new place to live on the shores of Lake Tuggeranong and which will be a significant boost to the Tuggeranong town centre economy.

The government is also progressing a range of significant infrastructure projects that will transform our city, as well as creating thousands of jobs. The capital metro project is one such example of the government’s vision for a transformed Canberra. Not only will the construction of the associated infrastructure between the city and Gungahlin assist the construction sector; there will be a range of new developments, residential and commercial, along the rail corridor.

The city to the lake project will also deliver a world-class infrastructure outcome for Canberra, creating thousands of jobs during the construction phase and ongoing employment and business development opportunities in one of the most iconic sites in our city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what threats have arisen for the ACT economy?

MR BARR: There have obviously been significant threats at a global level that the ACT, and indeed other states and territories and the national government, have had to deal with. But there is a particular issue, of course, that we are facing locally, and that is the election of the Abbott government and their plans to cut 12,000 public service jobs. This will undoubtedly hit the territory economy.

We are already facing a number of short-term challenges relating to the previous commonwealth government’s fiscal consolidation and, of course, the uncertainty related to the policies of the incoming government. For example, the Deloitte Access Economics business outlook for the September quarter indicates a slowing in the territory’s gross state product, from 2.8 per cent in 2012-13 to an anticipated 1.2 per cent in 2013-14, driven almost entirely by decisions of the commonwealth government.

However, in the medium to longer term, we must remain focused on the brilliant possibilities that our second century offers. There are a number of exciting projects, business development opportunities, that are before us. If we have the courage to take them, if we have the courage to reform our taxation system to attract new investment, if we have the courage to continue to innovate and to take nation-leading roles in many areas of public policy, we will place this territory in good stead to see through the difficulties that we will face in the next 12 to 24 months from the commonwealth government. I think this economy is stronger now in 2013 than it was 1996. We hope that the Abbott government stick to just the 12,000 positions that they have announced, and we will continue to fight for the ACT. (Time expired.)

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