Page 3784 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 September 2018

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MS BERRY: As Ms Lee would be aware, when she and her friends in the Canberra Liberals called a press conference she sent an email to my office three minutes before the press conference occurred. I was at another event announcing the ACT government’s calling for nominations for the people’s sporting champions awards. So when I got back to the office and saw the crowd out the front I went, “Mmm, what’s going on here?” Then I went up to the office and found out in more detail.

I had received a phone call from my office to indicate there was asbestos at Harrison School and that the Education Directorate and Robson and WorkSafe were working on a communications plan with the school to make sure that the teachers and parents and the community were involved in a calm and considered way rather than in the unnecessarily scary way the Canberra Liberals adopted in their press conference.

MS LEE: Minister, why did it take so long for the directorate to notify you of this serious matter?

MS BERRY: The Education Directorate was working very closely with WorkSafe ACT, Robson and the school community to ensure that communication went out to the school community and that it was carried out in a calm and careful manner, given the information that they were aware of at the time, rather than taking the Canberra Liberals’ line of announcing it via the media and making it into a situation which it clearly is not.

MR WALL: Minister, how many other schools have the same contaminated landscaping material? If you do not know, what is the government doing to ensure that no other schools across the ACT are affected?

MS BERRY: Thank you for that question. I refer the member again to the statement that I gave yesterday. The ACT directorate will act on the advice of WorkSafe.


MS CODY: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released the state final demand figures for the 2017-18 financial year. How did the ACT’s economy perform?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cody for the question. I can advise the Assembly that the ACT’s state final demand grew by 5.8 per cent in real terms over that 2017-18 fiscal year, significantly outpacing demand growth in the national economy, which grew by a more moderate 3.4 per cent. This result is further confirmation that the ACT has the fastest growing economy of all states and territories, with only Victoria coming close to our rate of growth in demand over the past year.

It also shows that some of the scepticism from commentators at the time of the 2018 territory budget about our forecast levels of growth was misplaced—yet again. In year-average terms, demand growth has come in slightly above where we estimated it at the time of the budget, and our treasury forecasters have provided another accurate set of numbers. Importantly, all of the major components of state final

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