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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3852..


Paper and Statement by Minister

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Treasurer, for the information of the members and pursuant to section 25 of the Financial Management Act 1996, I present the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 25 - Consolidated Annual Financial Statements for the 1999 - 2000 financial year.

I ask for leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: I am very pleased on behalf of the Treasurer to present to the Assembly of the ACT consolidated financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2000. The statements have been audited by the Auditor - General, who has given an unqualified opinion. The statements are also in full compliance with the reporting and tabling deadlines set by the Financial Management Act 1996.

In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the territory's consolidated operating result for 1999 - 2000 includes all departments, statutory authorities and corporations owned by the ACT, as well as entities controlled by the ACT government. To accurately reflect the financial performance of the territory as a whole, internal transactions and balances between ACT agencies are eliminated so that only external trading of the territory entity remains.

For the first time since self - government the territory has returned an accrual operating surplus. The territory's surplus for 1999 - 2000 is $78 million, which is an improvement of $209 million on the operating loss of $131 million in 1998 - 99. It is also a substantial improvement from the budgeted operating loss for 1999 - 2000 of $64 million.

This result reflects the government's commitment to improving the territory's financial position, with the goal of achieving operating surpluses being met five years ahead of schedule. It is the result of constrained expenditure growth, combined with improved revenues from growth in the revenue base for taxes, fees and fines, and growth in the revenue earned from market gains on financial assets. The operating result for each sector presents a similar picture. After abnormal items, the general government sector has an operating surplus of $81 million, an enormous improvement from the 1998 - 99 loss of $162 million, and outperforming the budget estimate of a $64 million loss.

The public trading enterprise sector has recorded an operating profit of $33 million, identical to last year's result and $16 million below the budgeted result after removing the effect of income tax, which is not included in the actual operating results.

Despite the strong performance in 1999 - 2000, results of this magnitude cannot be assumed to flow into future years. The results for this year were achieved due to a mixture of a buoyant ACT economy, strong financial management and a pull forward

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