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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 7 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 2020..


Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Budget—election promises

MR HANSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, yesterday in the Assembly the Treasurer tabled the March quarterly financial statements which showed a softening of property revenue. In addition, last night's commonwealth budget showed a reduction in GST revenue to the ACT. Chief Minister, given the reduction in revenue coming to the ACT, will the government be delaying any of its election commitments that were promised to be funded from the 2013-14 year?

MS GALLAGHER: The government is currently finalising our own budget. We were waiting for information on the federal budget. That has had a detrimental effect on what we were expecting in terms of GST receipts. We still have a number of budget cabinet meetings to go, and I am not in a position to let Mr Hanson know decisions that are yet to be finalised.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: That is a shame. Chief Minister, will commitments in the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement be given preference to other Labor Party policies?

MS GALLAGHER: All the commitments we have made in the election, and indeed since the election, are being considered in the budget, and that will become clear when the budget is tabled by the Treasurer in June.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, will priority be given to election commitments or returning the budget to surplus?

MS GALLAGHER: We have a budget plan and we have a range of commitments we have made. We have four years in which to deliver on our commitments. The budget this year, like every other year, will be a balance of expenditure, looking at our revenues, looking at commitments we have made, looking at cost pressures across government and looking at the overall economy and pressures that are there. And the budget will be a response to all of those things.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, what actions are you taking to prepare for further falls in federal revenue, and are delayed election promises part of those preparations?

MS GALLAGHER: The budget that the Treasurer delivers will be a responsible budget which is cognisant of the times in which we are operating. We have made a


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