Page 107 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 14 December 2016

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It is simply unfair. It is simply unfair that so many Canberrans simply cannot afford to buy a house in the city that they love. So much of it is due to this government’s deliberate stifling of the land market. That is why we have developers over the border and councils over the border that are being competitive and offering a better product at a better price. That is why so many Canberrans are choosing to live over the border.

I believe that if the prices were the same, the vast majority of people would want to live in the ACT. But instead, because the land prices are so much cheaper, yet a comparable distance away, people are going to New South Wales because that is where they can afford to live.

This is a fundamental problem. It is a problem with our economy, but it is also a fundamental problem with equity in our society. That is why the issue of budget prudence is not just a fiscal question. It is actually a social question as well. That is why I think it is so important that we finally get a government that actually treats this seriously and actually puts thought into the load that they are going to ask future generations to carry.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.17): I move the amendment to Mr Coe’s motion that has been circulated:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) that the ACT Budget is on track to return to surplus;

(b) debt is manageable as evidenced by the ACT’s AAA rating; and

(c) government debt has increased to fund productive infrastructure and asbestos clean-up associated with Mr Fluffy;

(2) notes the importance of the Government continuing to outline its fiscal strategy and the Territory’s return to surplus in Budget documents presented to this Assembly; and

(3) calls on the Government to outline its plans in the 2016-17 Budget Review.”.

What a conservative rant from the Leader of the Opposition and the new shadow treasurer. It was very clear when the Liberal Party room made its decision to lurch even further to the right that there would be a shift in policy when it came to budget and to economic policy. We just all witnessed that in this ramble from the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the territory’s fiscal position, performance of the territory economy, and his potted history of the ACT budget, completely ignoring the global financial crisis and completely ignoring the havoc that was wreaked upon the ACT economy by his partner in crime, the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

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