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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 5815..


MS BURCH: I thank Mr Coe for his question. The government have made clear our commitment around the development of the blueprint and the integrated management strategy and its ongoing monitoring. These are significant changes that will take years to implement. There clearly needs to be ongoing consideration to make sure that those changes become effective and are in place. The first tranche of that work will work with the task force which has been a point of discussion today. The government have never stepped away from the need to make these changes, to commit to these changes and to implement the changes.

MR COE: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, is the government listening to the commission's concern about the way the government has interpreted a number of its recommendations? If yes, to what extent has the government changed its interpretation?

MS BURCH: I am aware that yesterday the commissioner responded to the government's response to their report, to their inquiry. I do not know when it came to other people, but it certainly came to my office yesterday, and I will consider it in due course. But the government have absolute confidence in the task force; we consider them to have a sound community base, a base of youth justice commitment and involvement. As far as we are concerned our responses are solid but we will continue to work with the commission as we implement the blueprint.

Economy—policy

MS PORTER: My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer update the Assembly on recent economic information affecting the ACT economy and the ACT government?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for the question and state from the outset the government's commitment to maintaining a strong economy and a balanced budget over the economic cycle. The government has a strong record of robust economic management and of fiscal discipline. Once again the fundamentals of the territory economy have proven strong and our fiscal policy remains sound. It is based on responsible investment in productive infrastructure, low debt, high quality services, well-targeted assistance, funded by an efficient taxation system.

In recognition of this today I am pleased to advise the Assembly that our credit rating agency, Standard & Poor's, has affirmed the ACT's AAA credit rating. The government considers maintaining the territory's AAA credit rating as a central feature of its budget strategy. This announcement by Standard & Poor's is an endorsement of the government's fiscal plan and the strength of the territory's balance sheet. The government have succeeded; our plan is on track.

It is worth noting in this context that Standard & Poor's are no soft touch. Earlier this year they downgraded the US credit rating for the first time, and they recently


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