Page 413 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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In the 2014-15 budget, the ACT government made a number of changes to concessions to ensure that they remain fair and well targeted. This includes the introduction of the over-60s home bonus, which allows eligible households to pay only $20 in stamp duty when moving home. That is often saving those households up to $20,000. We have extended the sewerage rebate for low income healthcare card holders. We have increased the taxi subsidy scheme for ordinary taxis from $22.50 to $24 and for wheelchair accessible taxis from $34.50 to $37.

But the most important area for our government is jobs. Without any question, the biggest impact on the household budget is whether there is someone, or more than one person, in a household who has a job. That is what this government is focused on. A strong economy and job growth are the key ways that the territory government can meet the needs of the Canberra community now and into the future.

One need only contrast the approach of the ACT Labor government with the Liberal governments we saw in Victoria and Queensland—the one-termers, the ones who came in with exactly the ideology that those opposite worship every day: slashing jobs, cutting back services to the community and leaving the community poor. That is what the Liberal Party are about; that is what they practised in Queensland and Victoria. The electorates threw them out in one term.

We are not like that. We never have been and we never will be. That is why we will continue to support household budgets in this city through assisting people into work. Having people in work and keeping people in work is the best way for our economy to continue to grow. That is exactly what the government are doing, through our policies and through our budgets. We are supporting economic growth and we are supporting jobs, because that is what Labor governments are about.

We are stimulating the economy and we are providing confidence by developing and growing emerging enterprises, entrepreneurs and different sectors of our economy to expand our economic base and grow local employment. We are promoting Canberra to the region, the nation and the world, to attract new investment and tourism. We are attracting foreign investment and skills through programs for foreign investors and skilled and business migrants. We are growing our city’s export capabilities, including partnering with our universities, as I outlined in question time, to support their growth and their international outreach.

We are nurturing our grassroots sports and elite athletes to solidify our city’s region as a centre of regional sporting excellence. We are supporting the development and presentation of the arts in the territory. We are delivering and securing major events for our city, along with managing significant sporting, cultural and event infrastructure. And we are leveraging our land advantage and our infrastructure spend to transform our city into a dynamic, creative city of the future that is the preferred location for people to work, to live and to visit. We have a fundamentally positive outlook about this city’s future. The policies that we are enacting are the right policies for this time and for this city. They stand in marked contrast to what we see from those opposite.

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