Page 2260 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2016

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That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) that a significant portion of the ACT’s own source revenue is raised from ACT businesses and businesses investing in the ACT;

(b) private sector investment in business in the ACT is a major driver of the ACT’s economy; and

(c) the barriers to growth and investment created for ACT businesses as a result of flawed policy decisions made by successive ACT Labor/Green Governments, including the:

(i) failure to remove the Lease Variation Charge;

(ii) disproportionate increase in commercial land rates; and

(iii) failure of the ACT Labor/Green Government’s red tape reduction plan to provide substantive efficiencies for ACT businesses; and

(2) calls on this Assembly to condemn the flawed policies of successive Labor/Green Governments that continue to inhibit ACT businesses.

I am very pleased once again to highlight the impact of the flawed policies and philosophies of the current Labor government on the Canberra business community over the past 15 years. If we were to believe what Mr Hinder said this morning in his speech we would be all feeling very happy with the state of affairs in the business arena and in fact our economy in general. Unfortunately, though, this is not the case, and I believe Mr Hinder’s views are born out of a very out-of-touch government, out of touch with what Canberra businesses really think, and a sheer lack of understanding of what the impact of some of these flawed policies spanning 15 years of this tired Labor-Green government actually has on these businesses, their families and these people’s livelihoods.

This is also the out-of-touch attitude that was highlighted during estimates hearings when Dr Bourke, the minister for small business—a title, I might add, that has largely been born out of the Canberra Liberals appointing such a shadow portfolio at the beginning of this term—stated that he had not had any small businesses talk to him about the existence of the memorandum of understanding between UnionsACT and the ACT government. I would wager that this happened, firstly, because he is not speaking to enough businesses and, secondly, because most small businesses and businesses more broadly across the ACT were largely unaware of this secret agreement that was in existence until it was publicly broken in April of this year. They simply were not aware of the union movement having a veto power over government procurement decisions in this city because of the cronyism displayed by this Labor government.

I turn to the heart of my motion. Business is the beating heart of our small city—small businesses, medium businesses and also the larger businesses, ranging from sole

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