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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1037..

Thursday, 11 March 2004

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Matters of public importance

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, this morning Ms MacDonald and Mr Smyth lodged MPIs for discussion today. Having considered the MPIs I have ruled Ms MacDonald's out of order. The MPI concerned matters that were not within the scope of ministerial action.

Appropriation Bill 2003-2004 (No 3)

Mr Quinlan,

pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The bill provides for an increase in appropriation of $103.33 million. This appropriation bill is necessary for a number of reasons. Firstly, it provides the financial resources to support a number of initiatives under the social, spatial and economic plans, including providing funding to begin implementing the government's response to the shaping our territory report. Secondly, this bill provides funding for a number of enterprise bargaining agreements that either have been agreed or are expected to be finalised soon. The appropriation will also provide for other cost pressures within agencies, including ACT WorkCover and other initiatives. Thirdly, the bill provides funding for ACT Housing to address homelessness and housing affordability through the expansion of public and community housing. Finally, the bill is necessary to ensure the transparency of government decision making in relation to the allocation of financial resources. The Assembly should note that a number of items within this bill would have been drawn from the Treasurer's Advance, had there been no third appropriation bill.

The appropriation provides for funding to support the Canberra plan and associated subplans. The bill includes appropriations of $27.2 million for Canberra plan initiatives. This includes: $1.93 million to implement the government's response to the recommendations of the shaping our territory report; $10 million to establish an ACT-focused venture capital fund, focused on innovative firms to assist them in developing intellectual property in the ACT; $10 million to provide grant funding for the construction of facilities for the School of Health Sciences at the University of Canberra to allow new courses in physiotherapy, allied health and dietetics to be established; $0.42 million to provide integrated early intervention support services for communities through the establishment of two child and family centres; $0.3 million to support community

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