Page 374 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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transport provision in the city. We certainly look forward to them continuing their negative approach to this important infrastructure project for the territory.

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: I am hearing some interjections. There might be a change of heart, having lost two elections now on light rail. We are hearing a little that maybe the Leader of the Opposition’s position of outright opposition to light rail might be beginning to soften, but the interjections continue. Perhaps we can be confident that the Liberal Party will continue their outright opposition to public transport investment in the city.

The budget update also delivers on a number of other government commitments: commencing consultation on the new ice sports facility, boosting our city’s events calendar, a strong arts funding package, and giving seniors and concession card holders access to free off peak public transport. We continue to focus on sound fiscal management of the territory’s finances, and I note the significant $85 million improvement in the territory’s budget position as outlined in the update.

MR PETTERSSON: How is the territory’s economy performing?

MR BARR: The budget update indicates very strong economic performance for the territory, in spite of quite an array of headwinds that we have been facing, particularly some fairly poor decisions coming from the federal Liberal government. But across the forward estimates we have maintained our clear path to return the budget to balance. We do not see a budget surplus as an end in itself—

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, please let the Chief Minister continue.

MR BARR: It is called ‘enough rope’, Madam Speaker: give these guys enough rope and they might just lose a sixth election in a row, because we have a series of former leaders, wannabe leaders, across the chamber there. Over an extended period—the adult life of many of my colleagues, in fact—we have seen you guys consistently take the wrong position on economic matters and consistently take the wrong position on major infrastructure projects for this city. Long may that continue, because on this side of the chamber we will put the jobs of Canberrans first, we will put economic growth first and we will put simple, fair and efficient taxation reform at the forefront of our economic agenda in order to ensure that we have the lowest unemployment rate that we possibly can have, that our economy triples in growth, which it has done over the past three years, and that we continue to see Canberra more nationally and internationally focused. The benefits of that are seen in terms of economic growth, low unemployment, rising business confidence, strong retail sales and significant construction activity. The ACT’s economy is performing very strongly.

MS CODY: What has the government already achieved towards its election commitments and priorities in the first 100 days since the 2016 election?

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