Page 1049 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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This Labor government has a proud history of delivering the sort of consistency that gives the highest levels of investor confidence. Confidence in the government’s constancy underpins our AAA credit rating. Ratings agencies know that when the government commits to things those commitments can be counted on because they stick. This matters.

I know that this Labor government will continue to support investor confidence to deliver the investment in infrastructure our city needs to respond to the challenges our economy faces and to retain Canberra’s status as the world’s most livable city. Not only is the government determined to invest in public infrastructure; we are also determined keep the ACT an attractive destination for business investment.

Canberra is open for business, and through Invest Canberra we are taking that message out to the world to drive new investment in the territory. Through establishing Invest Canberra, this government has worked in close partnership with our local business community to promote the opportunities and benefits of investing in Canberra to investors around Australia, the region and the world.

This Assembly should be proud of the work that this Chief Minister and the former Chief Minister have done around our country and our region to drive investor awareness of our city’s strengths. These strengths are built on the bedrock of a Labor government providing a stable, consistent environment where investors trust that their investments are secure in our city and are worth building on.

The people of Canberra want governments who plan for the long term—and, importantly, governments who can deliver those plans. This is a government that has demonstrated again and again that it plans for the long term, not just for the next election cycle, and we have demonstrated again and again that we deliver for the people of Canberra.

While the stable and consistent economic management of Labor governments has provided a platform for the economic growth that has lifted the standard of living in our city over the past decade, sovereign risk is unfortunately still an issue that weighs on investors’ minds. The prospect of governments changing the goalposts on businesses is a very real concern for potential investors, especially for long-term projects that transform cities across electoral cycles.

Sovereign risk is one of the dirtiest terms investors ever hear. It should be equally as worrisome to any political party that has even the vaguest pretensions to being a party of government. Yet it is exactly this most worrying of risks we hear around the country when people talk about the Canberra Liberals. Investors look on in horror at the thought of such short-term thinking and the effect that this outlook could have on the hard-won reputation this territory has as a place investors can trust.

Critically, sovereign risk has long-lasting impacts on confidence—not just on trust in the government as a partner but on confidence in the broader economy. The possibility that a government will tear up contracts on one project raises the possibility that future projects may suffer the same fate.

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