Page 4014 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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MR BARR: Because we are undertaking an extensive community consultation process.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, is removing concession fares on public transport for seniors card holders striking the right balance between ensuring the concessions program is appropriately targeted and the risk involved in adjusting concessions for vulnerable households that could lead to households entering crisis?

MR BARR: This range of issues is one that the government is consulting on; hence the process. I have got to say that the hypocrisy of the Liberal Party on this issue—having presided over a cut to the concessions program, cutting the national partnership on concessions, ripping $2.2 million out of the ACT concessions program and tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars out of the program of all other states and territories, to come into this place and attack this government for undertaking a consultation process in relation to the fairness of our concessions program into the longer term—is breathtaking.

But what I will say is that we will consider these issues carefully and over an extended period. And I must say that the idea of being attacked for taking too long to consult and having too many rounds of consultation, coming from those opposite, is again breathtaking.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, how is increasing the eligibility for the seniors card to 65 years of age extending a helping hand to Canberrans in need?

MR BARR: Our focus is to extend concessions based on income. Surely even those opposite would agree that concessions should be targeted to those most in need. Surely even those opposite would agree with that fundamental starting point, that our concessions program should target those most in need. If you simply have an age-based criterion and not an income-based criterion then you are not targeting your concessions to those most in need.

Those issues are raised in the consultation process and we look forward to community feedback. I invite Mr Doszpot to make a submission. He can put on the public record his view as to where concessions should be targeted. It is open to the opposition to put in a submission and actually to have a view on this. He may want to talk to his federal colleagues about why they cut the concessions program in the first place.

Economy—employment growth

MS FITZHARRIS: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, could you please explain to the Assembly the importance of generating jobs in the ACT for our economy and our community.

Opposition members interjecting—

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