Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 February 2017) . . Page.. 510 ..
We continue to see in some sectors of the economy their productivity continue to improve, and that should be reflected in more robust wage outcomes. We would like to see in this territory—and I think we have in recent times—private sector wages increasing faster than the public sector. Looking at the data for the past 12 months, private sector wages in the territory have increased by 2.2 per cent; in the public sector they have increased by 1.8 per cent. That, again, indicates the relative strength of the private economy in this city in recent times.
It is important to note that these policy settings require continuity and long-term strategic thinking. But at the heart of it all, it is about opening up this economy and exposing it to more national and international investment and trade opportunities. I have said more than once that no city of 400,000 people will grow rich selling to itself. We simply must be more nationally and internationally focused, and the good news is that we are. We have the policy settings in place to achieve that. We are seeing the results, and I commend the motion to the Assembly. (Time expired)
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.38): On behalf of the ACT Greens I rise today to provide my support for this motion. In supporting this motion I would like to focus on a number of areas where the Greens have worked closely with the Labor Party, areas where the Greens have sought to diversify the ACT economy while also reducing our environmental footprint. This dual focus is really important. It is simply not possible to continue growing a business-as-usual economy in a finite world which is already being seriously impacted by climate change, resource depletion, continuing biodiversity loss and micro-plastics pollution, to name a few.
The 2015 state of the environment report showed that the ACT’s ecological footprint was, on a per capita basis, 3½ times the global per person average and in total it was equal to 14 times the land area of the ACT. In terms of how the economy grows, we have to be very careful about our impact on the environment, which must go down rather than up, for us to be sustainable.
One area where the ACT has been an early adopter has been the sharing economy. Apparently, the ACT has the highest rate of sharing economy services in the country, according to the Canberra Times a couple of days ago. Obviously, there are pluses and minuses to that. Potential minuses are job insecurity and, if you are with Airbnb, the impact on your neighbours, as well as insurance and tax issues.
There are also potentially and actually some real positives to come out of better utilisation of resources. For instance, in my case, I happen to live in an apartment block. It does not have an Airbnb in it, but it does have furnished apartments run by Canberra Furnished Accommodation, which, I have to say, as someone living in a one-bedroom unit, is a really great thing, because it means there is space in the same apartment block for my family to come and stay. That is the sort of thing that the sharing economy, when it works well, will do. It will enable us to have what we need without everybody duplicating things that are used once every six months or so.
With respect to other areas where we have had positives both economically and environmentally, renewable energy comes to mind. In the last term of government, the