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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 61..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

The ongoing impact of this bill is more modest, at $4.3 million in 2009-10, rising to $4.6 million in 2011-12.

We have a proven track record of managing our resources and meeting our commitments, addressing community needs and investing in priority service areas, while at the same time delivering surpluses. Our economy remains robust, our unemployment levels are the lowest in the country, activity in our construction industry continues to be high, and the effects of lower interest rates and the commonwealth stimulus package are expected to filter through to consumer confidence and household consumption.

We have a strong balance sheet. When other jurisdictions may have cut their infrastructure programs due to their borrowing requirements, our government's ability to continue our program is a testament to our prudent financial management.

This supplementary appropriation delivers on our election commitments. It is responsible and it has been delivered in the knowledge that what lies ahead of us needs careful management as a result of the broader economic circumstances. We have listened, we have taken stock and we have responded in the best way we know how, by giving back to the community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Reference

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.26), by leave: I move:

That:

(1) the Appropriation Bill 2008-2009 (No. 2) be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report by Wednesday, 17 December 2008;

(2) if the Assembly is not sitting when the Committee has completed its report, the Committee may send its report to the Speaker, who is authorised to give directions for its printing, publishing and circulation; and

(3) resumption of the debate on the question "That this Bill be agreed to in principle"be set down as an order of the day for the next sitting and that this sitting be held on Friday, 19 December 2008.

The purpose of referring this bill to the public accounts committee for urgent inquiry is that part of the large concern about the behaviour of the government in its last term was its lack of accountability, and what we have here is a proposal that seeks to appropriate some $34 million that the government expects this Assembly to tick off and pass on Thursday.

I think there are three important issues to consider in proposing this referral. There is certainly arrogance, there is certainly scrutiny and there are certainly claims of


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