Monday, 24 June 2013
Statements by Members
Canberra Electorate: Economy
BIS Shrapnel, the business research and forecasting firm, recently released its 2013-15 report on regional building in Australia. The report confirms my worst fears for Canberra. It confirms that the coalition's proposed job cuts of up to 20,000 public servants will devastate the economy of the whole ACT region, should it be elected in September. According to the report, the ACT will see a 32 per cent reduction in new dwellings compared to 2012-13, if the promised public sector job cuts come to fruition. This means the building market in the ACT will be contracting at the third-highest rate of any region in Australia.
Canberra is already starting to feel the pain of these cuts, with public sector workers who fear losing their jobs demonstrating their reluctance to make big financial decisions such as those relating to property. BIS Shrapnel has also warned that, if 12,000 public sector jobs are cut, which is the minimum cut being threatened by the coalition, Canberra's office vacancy rate could rise to 15 per cent; 12,000 job cuts means 216,000 square metres of occupied space being vacated—that is the equivalent of 11 per cent of Canberra's entire office workforce. These figures confirm my worst fears. A coalition government would be devastating for the economy of Canberra and the ACT region as it was in 1996. Remember 1996, Canberra.