Page 761 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 March 2016

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Burch.

MS BURCH: Treasurer, why is it so important that the government continues to implement economic reforms for the long-term benefit of the territory?

MR BARR: Economic reform is vital if our city wants to keep on growing. Standing still is not an option. The economic environment today is different from that of 20 years ago and it is different from that of 20 years before that. Unless governments are active in taking decisions to implement and bed down reform, we run the risk of economic atrophy. The alternative to reform is to remain stuck with outdated and inefficient ways of doing business which come at a cost to our community. That is why this government will continue to undertake, and to advocate for, economic reform. That is what responsible and far-sighted governments do. We will work with the commonwealth; we will work with other states and territories; and we will work with the local region. By implementing reforms, significant economic reforms, we create the foundation on which our territory can grow and our economy can prosper.

Most importantly, we can keep people in work. It was very pleasing to see that the territory has achieved an all-time record level of people in employment—according to the ABS for last month—an all-time record level of employment in spite of the 10,000 jobs that were cut by the Liberal Party in the 2014 budget. The Liberal Party are the party of cutting jobs in this city; Labor is the party of growth and jobs for Canberra. It has always been that way, and it continues to this day. We will implement the reforms that will see our economy grow. Those opposite just cut jobs.

Tuggeranong—offensive odours

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Transport and Municipal Services. In February, I moved a motion in the Assembly calling on the ACT government to take action to determine the cause of the foul smell in some Tuggeranong suburbs. I received a briefing towards the end of February about this matter. In that briefing, I was told that the Environment Protection Authority had not even started its analysis into the cause of the smell. I was also told that I would be kept informed about this issue. As recently as 5 March, a constituent told me that they had once again experienced the foul smell in their suburb. Minister, as of the end of February, why hadn’t the EPA started its analysis into the cause of the foul smell?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Lawder for the question. It is my understanding that EPA have been investigating the smell for some time, and certainly before the end of February. If that is not the case, I will seek further advice and come back.

I add in relation to this issue, as I mentioned the last time this was asked about in the previous sittings, that I have myself made a visit to the area. I again ask for support from all members: if they receive complaints about the potential odour, to let me know directly. The best thing that we can do is have as much data and evidence as possible, as specific as possible, so that we can continue to investigate the potential cause of this odour.

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