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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3229..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

indicating a high level of activity in user charging areas. On the expenditure side, the interim outcome is quite close to the published estimate. There are some technical adjustments, both up and down, relating to how employee entitlements are calculated.

In preparing the budget, it is assumed that the entire Treasurer's advance would be spent during the year and around $9 million of the advance was unspent, which directly improves the net operating balance. This reflects good management of unforeseen, unanticipated cost pressures on behalf of agencies and I am very pleased with this.

On an AAS basis, the GGS recorded a deficit of $293 million, which is a $17.6 million increase from the 2008-09 estimated outcome deficit of $310.6 million. The primary reason for the higher than expected year-to-date performance of the AAS result is the increase in the net operating balance, offset by a lower level of land revenue and the recognition of an increase in employee entitlements relating to the revised methodology for calculating these liabilities. The general government sector balance sheet remains strong, as demonstrated by the strength of key financial indicators such as net debt and net worth.

In relation to how this affects our budget plan moving forward, the plan always provided for some movement in economic activity. However, savings targets will be adjusted accordingly, as always envisaged, to take account of changed economic circumstances. Despite this small adjustment, the government still has a substantial task ahead. It is a fact that the territory's revenues were put back by about two years and, while revenue recovers, expenses do continue to grow to meet the needs of the community.

The unallocated savings task for the financial year 2012-13 was around $180 million. Earlier recovery is helpful but the substantive nature of the savings task has not changed. I commend the June quarter financial report to the Assembly.

2003 Canberra bushfires

Paper

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.18): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

2003 Canberra bushfires—McLeod Report and Doogan Coronial Inquiries—Government agreed recommendations—Implementation report, prepared by ACT Bushfire Council, dated June 2009.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

I would like to formally thank the ACT Bushfire Council for taking the time to prepare and provide the government with such a detailed report. The government welcomes it and I am pleased to provide a copy of the report to members of the Assembly.


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