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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 10 Hansard (13 August) . . Page.. 2855..


that over the course of the forward estimates there are invariably a series of economic decisions and political decisions that are made at a federal government level, the implications of which would be unknown at this time. The government will seek to update its budget position at least twice a year over the coming three or four years and we will be taking into account any actions that impact upon the territory economy and adjusting our fiscal policy settings appropriately and in accordance with our budget plan.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Treasurer, how important is it to return the budget to surplus as outlined in the CIE report?

MR BARR: The government has over the last decade delivered nine surpluses. The government recognises the importance of having—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson.

MR BARR: a fiscal policy that responds to the economic circumstances of the time. In very simple terms, we have been saving for the rainy day, and the rainy day is now.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson. Mr Barr has the call.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe.

MR BARR: The delivery of nine budget surpluses gives the ACT one of the strongest fiscal positions of any state or territory in the commonwealth. The territory will continue its strong fiscal management, but it will also have an eye to other economic indicators, such as a record level of employment in the Australian Capital Territory, labour market growth approaching two per cent and a very, very strong level of state final demand for a jurisdiction that does not have a resource base.

These economic outcomes are supported by the government's fiscal policy, because the two are not necessarily correlated. In this instance, the territory government's capital spend, for example, is supporting the territory economy, and the territory government's recurrent spend, particularly in the delivery of services to this community, is supporting the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the people of Canberra.

Transport—light rail

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development and is in regard to light rail. Minister, the Queensland government has


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