Page 2101 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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Canberra; Mr Doszpot knows that and Mr Doszpot knows that I know that. But I think that is quite a different thing from the suggestion that he is making.

On the other matters, I have no further comment to add at this point. I have made my position publicly clear and there will be a further discussion later today.


MR HINDER: My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer outline to the Assembly the importance of the government meeting its commitments to maintaining a strong economy, honouring the light rail contract and returning the budget to surplus?

MR BARR: I am pleased to advise the Assembly that the ACT economy continues to perform well. Gross state product is growing by around 1.75 per cent, increasing to two per cent in the current fiscal year. Exports from the territory are growing strongly—faster than the rest of the nation—and are now worth around $1.3 billion per annum to our economy. This growth will be further supported by external factors such as low interest rates—even lower today; there has been an announcement in the past 20 minutes or so from the RBA—and a lower Australian dollar.

No small jurisdiction ever got rich by selling to itself. So we remain committed to expanding our city’s national and international engagement. There are many positive signs that the private sector also has confidence in Canberra’s future. It is fair to say that international flights to Canberra did not start by accident. We will continue to focus on creating the right conditions for local businesses to grow and to create jobs, and to encourage investment and growth in the economy.

With an eye to the long term, the government continues its significant investment in infrastructure, in health, in education and in transport. Through the light rail project, we will be supporting thousands of jobs during the construction phase and into the future.

There are, of course, risks and honouring contracts is a key feature of good government and sensible financial management. This point appears to be lost on some—the economic lunatics of this place. It is no wonder that the former shadow treasurer walked out on this lot.

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: I would like to hear Mr Hinder. Mr Hinder, a supplementary question.

MR HINDER: Can the Treasurer indicate how the government’s commitment and fiscal strategy will assist in maintaining a strong economy and high quality services?

MR BARR: As members would be aware, the territory has endured some very tough economic times in recent years because of the Liberal Party’s cuts at a federal level. Despite these impacts the ACT government has continued to deliver high quality

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