On the eve of the ACT budget, I rise again to highlight the devastation that has been wrought by the Abbott government on the Canberra community—on my community. Almost every facet of the ACT's economy has spiralled downwards since this government came to office, thanks to more than 8,000 public service jobs being ripped from the city. And that is just so far.
The statistics are staggering and they speak for themselves. For the year ended 30 September 2014, the city's population increased by just 1.2 per cent, below the national growth rate of 1.5 per cent. Building approvals in the ACT were down by 41 per cent in the year to March 2015, whereas nationally the number of residential building approvals actually increased by 23.6 per cent.
Our GDP increased by 0.7 per cent in in real terms in 2013-14, compared to 2.5 per cent for the rest of the country. The median house price through the year to April 2015 decreased by 1.6 per cent, compared to an increase of 4.7 per cent nationally. And, more concerningly, in January the territory had the lowest business confidence in Australia, with 31 per cent of businesses expressing grave concerns.
As you can see, Mr Deputy Speaker, the impact of the Abbott government on this city has been devastating. Shame on this Abbott government and what it has done to Canberra. Shame on what it has done to the people and the families who serve our nation and who are the servants of democracy.