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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 8 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 3272..


this stage can be substantial, reflecting technical accounting adjustments and reconciliations of internal trading and transfers between agencies.

The June quarter interim headline net operating balance for the general government sector was a surplus of $10.5 million, which is marginally less than the estimated outcome published in the 2011-12 budget of $19.7 million. The marginal decline in the net operating balance in the interim result compared to the estimated outcome is largely due to reduced dividend returns from the public trading enterprise sector resulting mainly from the timing of payments for land settlements. Overall taxation revenue has also performed marginally less than expectations. The $7 million saving recorded against the 2010-11 Treasurer's advance contributes to this outcome and represents good management of unforeseen and unanticipated cost pressures by agencies. As I mentioned previously, this is a particularly notable achievement, given the $9.7 million reduction in the Treasurer's advance in the 2010-11 financial year as part of the government's budget plan.

The ACT economy has continued to perform well following the release of the budget. State final demand for the territory increased by 4.9 per cent year on year in original terms in the March quarter of 2011. Public investment was the main driver of this SFD growth. The ACT recorded the strongest employment growth in 2010-11 in five years—in fact, going back to 2006-07 was the last time we had employment growth this strong—with an increase of 2.2 per cent mainly driven by full-time employment and private sector employment. The employment growth outcome in 2010-11 was, however, slightly lower than the 2011-12 budget forecast of 2.5 per cent.

Moving forward, local prospects remain positive. However, the risk has shifted more to the downside, given growing global economic uncertainty due to sovereign debt concerns in Europe and the recent downgrading of the US credit rating. There is potential for further decline in consumer confidence and consequently household consumption. The government will be closely monitoring these issues moving forward.

However, the territory continues to maintain a strong balance sheet, as reflected in a number of key indicators, such as net worth, net financial liabilities and net debt. So it is with great pleasure that I commend the June quarterly report to the Assembly.

Paper

Mr Barr presented the following paper:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Inquiry—Auditor-General's Report No 10/2010—2009-10 Financial Audits—Government submission.

Territory-owned Corporations Act—statements of corporate intent

Papers and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation): For the information of members, I present the following papers:


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