Page 719 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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The alternative position that has been put forward by the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow treasurer in their interjections and debate contributions today indicates that, had they been in government during this period, they would have been joining the contraction game. They would have been joining the cutting and they would have been party to sending this economy into recession. The fact that we have not gone into a recession and we have continued to grow is testimony to the success of this government’s economic policies during this period.

In March last year we announced a stimulus package designed to support activity in the construction sector. The government has also implemented a number of initiatives to provide short-term support for a number of sectors of the territory economy to assist them in responding to the challenges that they have faced as a result of Tony Abbott’s cuts. This has included funding to assist former public servants to make the transition into the private sector.

Mr Hanson interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson!

MR BARR: They are very sensitive about these issues. Like every other state Liberal Party in the country, they are desperate to see a leadership change at the federal level to bring old cuddly “Uncle Malcolm” into the leadership role, because “toxic Tony” is driving state Liberal parties into extinction around the country. And I can understand why. It is why I am the number one supporter of the Prime Minister in this place. I hope that Tony Abbott stays in that job for a very long time—certainly through until October 2016.

Mr Hanson: A long, long time.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson!

MR BARR: Measured in terms of the Liberal Party’s approach to leaders, that is a matter of months. Nonetheless, I support him through to October 2016, when he can face the electorate. And we certainly look forward to that.

As I was saying, we continue our focus on investment in the territory economy, supporting the productive capacity of our economy and highlighting our efforts to support key industries, particularly higher education. We will have the opportunity in this place to debate a significant reform bill for the University of Canberra that will encourage further growth of the university sector. (Time expired.)

Mr Coe: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Coe.

Mr Coe: Madam Speaker, I ask you to make a ruling as to whether the Chief Minister’s language was appropriate and whether it was indeed befitting of a member, let alone the Chief Minister, in describing the Prime Minister of Australia.

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