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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . .

Page.. 3452..

Economy—AAA credit rating

DR BOURKE: Treasurer, could you advise the Assembly on the outcome of the Standard & Poor's recent credit rating review of the ACT?

MR BARR: I can advise the Assembly that the ACT has retained its AAA credit rating and that the assessed outlook for the ACT's finances continues to be stable. We are one of a small number of governments in the world to hold this highest possible credit rating. The AAA rating is an endorsement of the government's short-term fiscal plan and it is an endorsement of our long-term plans to grow the economy and to invest in transformational infrastructure. Standard & Poor's said:

The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that the government will manage its financial position and successfully execute its financial strategy. Successful delivery will further support the ACT's very strong financial management.

I could go on quoting for some time from the Standard & Poor's analysis about the territory's economy and our fiscal strategy—and I think I will! Standard & Poor's also said:

The ratings on the Australian Capital Territory reflect our view of the ACT's very strong economy and financial management, and its strong budgetary flexibility.

We consider the ACT's financial management to be very strong.

The ACT's political and managerial strengths, debt and liquidity management, and its management of government-related entities support our very strong view of its financial management.

We expect the ACT's tax reforms to be successfully implemented.

Further, the ACT has demonstrated its willingness to release land as part of its growth strategy to offset weakening revenue streams.

This is simply a resounding endorsement of this government's economic and fiscal strategy and, in particular, our strategy to support our local economy at a time when the Liberal Party is trashing our economy.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Treasurer, why is this outcome important for the ACT economy and community?

MR BARR: A strong credit rating is an important measure that provides investors with confidence that Canberra is a good place in which to invest. It signals strong financial management, it signals a strong economy and it signals strong budgetary performance. All of these are important foundations for investors and for business. They reflect a stable environment in which to operate, with minimal economic and financial volatility.

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