Page 549 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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Thursday, 24 March 2022

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal Country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal Country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal Country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Budget 2021-22—review

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.02): I am pleased to rise this morning to present the 2021-22 ACT budget review. As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I present another economic update, which continues to build on the government’s principles from which we have never wavered: investing in health care and essential services; protecting and creating jobs across our territory; and continuing to support Canberrans who need it most.

Our public health response will continue to take precedence in how the ACT government supports our community. That is simply because the strength of a jurisdiction’s health response directly contributes to its economic resilience. We have seen that a clear and well-communicated health response, one that is trusted by the community, gives households and businesses the confidence to invest. It provides a strong foundation for recovery and sustainable economic growth.

I am pleased to report to the Assembly that the ACT’s gross state product grew by a further 2.8 per cent in the last fiscal year, 2020-21. This is our 31st consecutive year of economic growth. It was the third highest growth rate among all states and territories, and nearly double the national growth rate in that year, which was only 1½ per cent.

The ACT government has provided more than half a billion dollars in additional health funding, allocated nearly half a billion dollars in targeted support for small and medium businesses, and invested more than $300 million in additional funding for education and skills. At this point, the pathway out of the pandemic remains uncertain, and I am afraid to report that there are other risks emerging more clearly on the horizon. However, I want to reassure the community that, during these uncertain times, we will continue to invest with an eye to the future wellbeing of Canberrans.

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