Page 2026 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023

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MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. As has already been announced, we are looking at upgrading the existing systems that are operated by the ACT government. The reviews that were undertaken found that an initial option to look at upgrading the existing systems was discounted early on in the project. That is disappointing. We believe that those options would come at less risk and cost to the territory, and that is what we are pursuing.

The HRIMS system, which is based on an SAP SuccessFactors platform, is one that is used by a range of large organisations around Australia and the world. That was something that we were looking to adopt. That was the preferred option early on in the project because the other options had been discounted at the time. Now that we have a better understanding of the options, we have made the decision, through the budget process, to upgrade our existing systems, which is at lesser scope but one that we think will be less risk for the territory.

Economy—budget review

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what are some of the risks and opportunities facing the ACT economy over the next 12 months?

MR BARR: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. There is no doubt that our economy, whilst remaining robust and one that has a positive outlook for the coming years, does face some short-term risks associated with inflation and interest rate increases. Pleasingly, today’s inflation data shows that it would appear that inflation has peaked and is now coming down.

Our territory’s booming population growth, the strongest labour market in the country and an increasingly diversified economy are a very strong platform upon which to ride out these inflation pressures and the interest rate increases. Hopefully, today’s inflation data will give the Reserve Bank pause for thought before issuing any further rate increases.

We note that our economic outlook does have risks associated with what happens with inflation—things beyond our control, like geopolitical instability; and, of course, that flowed through into volatility in international financial markets. But, consistent with the Reserve Bank’s statement on monetary policy and the commonwealth budget this year, inflation is assumed to have peaked, and the data today, I think, confirms that it is beginning to ease.

Interest rates and cost of living pressures, though, will temper household consumption in the coming 12 months, and we think they may also impact on business investment in the short term. Pleasingly, the ACT export sector has rebounded really strongly from COVID and will play a strong role in driving economic growth for the territory in the coming year, along with robust growth in employment and wages.

DR PATERSON: Chief Minister, what are some of the actions that the ACT government is undertaking to address the unequal impacts of inflation?

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