Page 60 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

constraint by the commonwealth government and uncertainty regarding its future plans. What is important to remember, though, is that the fundamentals of the territory economy are sound. With strong population growth, a workforce that is the best paid and the best educated in the country and a territory government that will continue to support our economy, we are well placed to meet this coming challenge from the commonwealth.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Treasurer, what actions is the ACT government taking to support economic growth?

MR BARR: Through our comprehensive business development strategy the government is implementing a range of programs and initiatives to support and promote innovation in our private sector. For example, we are fostering innovation among new and growing businesses and helping budding business people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality.

Last year I launched Invest Canberra, the ACT government’s investment facilitation agency, to promote and attract national and international direct investment into our economy. Last week I launched new guidelines to assist interstate and international investors and businesses to invest in Canberra. These new guidelines streamline the facilitation of private sector investment in the territory economy.

The government will continue to step up our program of red tape reduction. We will continue our work to abolish inefficient taxes like insurance and stamp duties, and we will continue to support new business formation through innovative initiatives such as the microcredit scheme that I announced yesterday, to be delivered in partnership with Westpac and the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Treasurer, what risks are there to economic growth in the ACT?

MR BARR: The risks to economic growth in the territory centre almost entirely around the commonwealth government and its ongoing contraction in spending and its levels of employment in our city. Whilst the private sector provides nearly 60 per cent of all employment in the ACT, there are more than 65,000 commonwealth public servants in our city, making up approximately one-third of our workforce.

In addition—as I am sure members understand—there are many other workers and businesses in the private sector, such as contractors and suppliers, who work closely with the commonwealth government and who rely upon the commonwealth government for all or part of their business. As such, the commonwealth has a big impact on our economy. So the Liberals’ goal of sacking thousands of public servants, and their desire to cut the role of the commonwealth government, will cause significant damage to our economy.

Members interjecting—

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video