Page 1806 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker—

Ms Burch: I do apologise, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hanson: on a point of order, I ask that the member withdraw that interjection.

MADAM SPEAKER: Did you withdraw or did you apologise?

Ms Burch: I will do both.


MS PORTER: Chief Minister, how does the ACT government’s budget support the territory economy?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Through the spending policies and programs that are handed down by the territory government in our annual budget we can take a number of different policy stances. We can seek to stimulate the territory economy or we can seek to stymie growth, investment and job creation. Those are the choices before us as we prepare for the 2015 budget.

The budget that I will hand down next month will be cast with an eye to supporting economic growth in the territory. We will always put the people of Canberra first. We will support our community, our residents and our businesses. We will always support the economy, to keep people in jobs and to help our businesses grow, invest and create new jobs.

There is no doubt that in the past few years our city has been hit by a significant economic shock from the federal Liberal government. Though our private sector has grown and diversified, the commonwealth is still a major driver of economic activity in the territory. The contraction in jobs and spending and the lack of new investment from the commonwealth government in our economy has certainly hit hard.

It has fallen to the territory government to step up and support economic growth. We have done this in recent budgets and we will continue to do so in the budget this year. We will continue our focus on economic growth. We will continue to invest in infrastructure right across our city. The infrastructure program will provide for new and upgraded facilities right across the territory in health, education, emergency services and transport, amongst other areas of investment. We will continue to invest in major projects, particularly related to health, public transport and urban renewal. Not only are these projects responsible long-term planning for our city’s future, to help us to cater for the needs of a growing city, but they will also create thousands of jobs for our economy.

Our forthcoming budget will continue to lower conveyance duty and insurance taxes. Every homebuyer will see a reduction in their stamp duty bill, making buying a home more affordable for Canberrans. Insurance taxes will again be cut, as part of our approach to abolishing this tax once and for all from the territory’s statute books.

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