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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 8 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3380..


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MR SPEAKER: I was remiss in my earlier acknowledgements; we have been joined by a former member of the Assembly, Ms Roslyn Dundas, in the chamber. I welcome Ms Dundas back to the chamber.

Questions without notice

Budget—employment

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question through you is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, can you update the Assembly on how the government's 2012-13 budget is supporting the economy and local jobs?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for the question. The budget is, indeed, supporting the ACT economy and it is supporting local jobs. The government, in putting together this budget—

Mr Smyth: How are those federal job cuts going?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, thank you.

MR BARR: I will come to that in a minute. Faced with the federal government's contraction in spending and employment in the ACT and the global economic uncertainty that has been hitting government balance sheets at a state and territory and federal level, not just here in Australia but around the world, the ACT government, through this budget, has sought to maintain economic growth in our economy. It is orthodox economics, but, bizarrely, from the cat cries from those opposite, it appears they do not seem to understand this.

The ACT government is keeping the economy strong by maintaining our spending on front-line community services and on public infrastructure. This includes record funding in the health portfolio of $1.3 billion in this fiscal year—funding to employ an extra 150 nurses, doctors and allied health professionals. There is $900 million in this budget for education. Importantly, funding to ensure that the pay rises for ACT teachers that the ACT government has put in place to enable ACT teachers to be the best paid in the country is contained within this budget, including—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: I know those opposite do not like it, but it includes the classroom teacher professional practice position that allows the best and brightest teachers to earn six-figure salaries within our system.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Order!


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