Page 504 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017

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allegiances and alliances lie wholly with Unions ACT and in large part with the CFMEU. And it is clear to see who is actually pulling the strings when it comes to the operation of this government.

I will read out an excerpt from a letter that was sent to Mr Barr, the Chief Minister, back in December 2015, when the Secretary of Unions ACT, Mr Alex White, said:

Unions ACT requests that the ACT Government undertake not to sign any major procurement contract, defined as a contract having a value greater than $1 million.

This excludes of course contracts for the capital metro project. It also states:

This will assist in establishing an indispensable asset of goodwill between Unions ACT and the Government while discussions around a new MOU proceed.

When you have got the puppet master of the unions controlling those opposite, demanding that all procurement activity within the territory stop until they can work out a new deal which makes sure it cuts them in, it is no wonder that confidence amongst the ACT business community is at what is an all-time low.

If Ms Cody had continued to read the Sensis business report a little further, I would suggest to page 39, she would have realised that the 11-point rise that the ACT has had in business confidence, taking us up, as she said before, to 46 points, brings us in line with the national average. We are not outperforming any other jurisdiction, we are purely in line with the average. What is more interesting on that page is:

The ACT Government lost some favour amongst small and medium businesses, with its rating dropping 12 points to minus 11. The major concern is excessive bureaucracy, ahead of a lack of incentives and there being too many government-related costs.

That has taken the ACT to the third lowest jurisdiction of businesses having confidence in local government policy. The only state governments that are outperforming the ACT in being worse than what we are are those good old Labor states of Queensland and South Australia. We can hold our head high. We are outperforming the dismal government of Queensland. We are outperforming a dismal government in South Australia. But compared to all of the other jurisdictions, we are trailing.

Business confidence in the ACT is strong, despite the actions of those opposite. In fact, the majority of businesses in the ACT feel as though the actions taken by those opposite in government policy is either working against the interest of local business or, worse, having no impact at all. I think that clearly states that there is another side to this story which simply is not being told.

The current environment clearly is stifling innovation, it is stifling growth and it is stifling investment. There are a number of examples, both current and former, that have had to be brought into this place and have been fought on to get any action and

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