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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1408..


Appropriation Bill 2007-2008

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (3.00): I present the Appropriation Bill 2007-2008 and the following papers:

Explanatory statement to the bill.

Human Rights Act, pursuant to section 37—compatibility statement, dated 5 June 2007.

Budget 2007-2008—Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 10—

Speech (Budget paper No 1)

Taking the Territory Forward (Budget paper No 2)

Budget overview (Budget paper No 3)

Budget estimates (Budget paper No 4)

CD—Budget 2007-2008

Later this afternoon I will be presenting statements of intent for territory authorities.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE: I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, it is my pleasure today to present the 2007-08 budget—my second as Treasurer, and a set of numbers that has only been made possible because of my first—the budget I handed down one year ago.

Mr Speaker, last year's was a budget for the future—a prescription that involved tough and politically unpalatable decisions, a budget that asked Canberrans to bear some pain now, so that they and their children would not be burdened with a debt too crippling to be met in 10, 20 or 30 years time.

There was no imminent crisis at the time that tough budget was delivered and there is no crisis today. Indeed, today I announce Labor's sixth consecutive surplus—all the more remarkable since it is a surplus under the new, rigorous government finance statistics system, all the more remarkable because this time last year we were preparing for a significant deficit under that measure.

Mr Speaker, there was no imminent crisis on 6 June last year, but there was a looming one. It was born of almost two decades of ACT governments living beyond their means, trying to maintain levels of expenditure and a style of living dating from the days when the commonwealth was subsidising a road to cityhood that was gold plated.

Last year, as a community, we took a deep collective breath and struck out on something of a new path—one that we were determined to pay for as we went along. We decided to stop living beyond our means.


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