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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1989..


think he listened to my speech in the Assembly yesterday, although he was interjecting quite a bit through it so maybe he missed that bit.

The issues around the unallocated savings are that the government wants to have a conversation with members of the Assembly, with the community, with business, with unions and with industry representatives about how we approach the savings job. I would have thought, just going back a few months, that that is a strategy which the Liberal Party warmly embraced and endorsed, considering, I think, from memory, that they spent money advertising around perceived lack of consultation on our part. Everyone in politics knows that what you spend money on in your advertising is a message that you want the people to hear. You campaigned against us supposedly not consulting with the community. We have taken the approach—

Mr Hanson: So you accept that you were wrong, that you did not consult?

MS GALLAGHER: We did not support your campaign advertising; it was pretty mucky politics. But we listened to the results of the election. We have heard from the people of Canberra. We accept that there were times when we could have taken them into our confidence earlier.

That is exactly what this budget is doing. It is saying, "This is our issue. We have found $60 million of these savings on our own and we think they are sensible. They can be delivered through a mixture of wage restraint and some small efficiencies across government. But there is a bigger job to do. There is $97 million which we would like to talk to you about."

Again, I look forward to the Liberal Party's submission on that and I look forward to them embracing the fact that we are going to be having a conversation with the community and we hope they take part in that conversation.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?

MR HANSON: Treasurer, how did you determine that the total savings of $153 million could be achieved over the three years of 2010-11 to 2012-13?

MS GALLAGHER: The savings target is a key part of returning the budget to surplus over the seven-year cycle. As part of the seven-year plan, we expect revenues outside the forward estimates to return to long-term trends; they sit just below it within the forward estimates. We seek to restrain government expenditure to 41/2 per cent. We seek savings to the budget in the order of $153 million. Whilst our expenditure is growing, we are looking for efficiencies at the same time and we are expecting our revenue to return to the long-term trend. Over time, that will enable us to return to budget in the 2015-16 financial year.

Infrastructure—investment

MS BURCH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Would the Chief Minister please outline how the investment in infrastructure announced in the 2009-10 budget will help the ACT community?


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