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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 August 2016) . . Page.. 2208 ..


and territories have been recording declines. Our territory’s AAA credit rating is an important indicator of the strength of our economy and the fiscal policies of my government. It demonstrates that the territory is a good place to do business; it signals strong financial management, a strong economy and strong budgetary performance.

There are not many jurisdictions in the world that have this credit rating. It has been hard fought; we have worked very hard to retain it and those opposite put it at risk by the sorts of behaviour they have been outlining in recent times as to how they would behave were they to form a government. Ripping up contracts and pushing the budget into a permanent deficit through irresponsible policies are all part of the recipe of the Leader of the Opposition. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the next speaker I remind members of the provisions of standing order 58.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo—Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Minister for Transport Canberra and City Services and Assistant Minister for Health) (12.08): I thank Mr Hinder for bringing forward this important motion today. I am proud to speak in support of this motion to highlight the true needs of our city’s future both from an economic standpoint and a transport standpoint. As a Labor government we will always work towards ensuring there is growth, opportunity and fairness in our community. We are focused on health, education and jobs and we are investing in the services our growing city needs now and into the future.

This government is building a new hospital to better care for people in our community, renewing our public housing stock across the city so that people have comfortable places to live in and that are more accessible and safe, delivering new roads and new infrastructure from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong, investing in a world-class integrated transport system to keep our city moving and much, much more, too. And yet strong economic management is at the heart of everything we do.

This government will deliver a surplus in 2018-19. The 2016-17 ACT budget delivers more services today and in coming years with a clear path back to surplus because that is what the ACT community expects.

Our economy has weathered the storm from the commonwealth government’s job cuts because of the work this government has done to diversify and support our economy. Unemployment, as the Chief Minister has said, in the ACT is the lowest in Australia. We have a AAA credit rating, good wages and high quality local services despite what those opposite would suggest and we have world-class services.

As Mr Hinder mentioned, this positivity is spreading throughout the ACT economy. Whether it is retail sales, building approvals, service exports or economic activity, all of these indicators show that consumers and industry have trust in our economy. And just last month we were found yet again to have the world’s highest quality of living. We are lucky to live in this beautiful city.

This ACT Labor government will continue to work hard to diversify our economy. Our focus on knowledge-based industries including higher education and technology


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