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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1697..


continue to do just that. We are going to have to spend more, but at the same time we are looking for our own efficiencies in order to pay for those additional services.

I am sure the opposition are going to criticise the savings measures. They are going to criticise the new spend. But then we will not have spent enough, and we should not do any savings, and they would still like the bottom line to look better; I just predict that that might be something that comes out of the next 24 hours. I do not know if I am right; I sense I might be. But that is what we are going to hear from those opposite.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. I am dizzy from jumping up and down. I have a question to the Treasurer. In light of cost of living pressures, what is the government's attitude to people who require concessions?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not want to pre-empt the budget that I will deliver in 20 minutes, Mr Hargreaves, but this government have committed to a substantial review of our concessions program. In fact, we made some progress during last year's budget where we increased the concession and indexed it in the outyears. This was in recognition of those 25,000-odd householders that do rely on government assistance to help pay for their costs. Costs are increasing and the government's job is to provide targeted assistance.

Mrs Dunne: But not for anybody else.

MS GALLAGHER: Costs are increasing for others. I do not think the ACT is any different to New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and, indeed, most economies across the world. Costs are increasing. The government's job is to respond to those families that need assistance from government, and that is what the budget last year did and it is what this budget that I will deliver in the next 20 minutes will also deliver.

This government are committed to providing additional support for vulnerable Canberrans but we are not going to expect that every household or every family in the ACT needs additional government support. We are going to continue to provide our excellent services across the community but there are some families that need an extra hand along from the government, and those families will get it.

Visitor

MR SPEAKER: I would like to draw members' attention to the presence of former member Mick Gentleman in the public gallery, and welcome Mr Gentleman back to the Assembly.

Questions without notice

Energy—costs

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, and is in regard to the development of climate change and energy policies.


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