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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 November 2007) . . Page.. 3633 ..

admittedly under the Australian accounting standards, in the order of $800 million. Whereas, on an Australian accounting standard basis, the consolidated financial report that Mrs Dunne refers to for the last financial year reflects an Australian accounting standard surplus of just over $300 million.

There is interesting context there. The Liberal Party: $800 million of accumulated deficit; Labor Party: $300 million surplus in just the one year. It is in marked contrast—the competence, the diligence of the Liberal Party and the Labor Party—that they, in their first term, delivered Australian accounting standard deficits—in that first four years—of I think $800 million. I have taken that from memory, but I am sure it is in the order of $800 million delivered by the Liberals against that fantastic result in this last financial year of $300 million.

The result is higher than expected and was driven by the strength of the economy, most particularly by the strength of the climb in the ACT property market—in other words, housing and commerce. Of the difference, the results show that expenses in 2006 were in line with budget. Growth in expenses from 2005-06 was maintained at one per cent. That has not been reported on. That is a very significant achievement: in 2005-06 growth in expenses—this is a very significant number and, because of its significance, it has been completely ignored by the Liberal Party and regrettable ignored by the media—was maintained at one per cent; in other words, significantly less than CPI.

The reduction in real terms was targeted in the 2006-07 budget. That reduction in real terms was, as everybody knows, targeted to address the expenditure imbalance that occurred in successive budgets since self-government, in which—as I said before and as the minister for education just repeated—the difference across the board has been about 20 to 25 per cent. That was the reason we took the decisions and instigated the reform, which was very much a feature of last year’s budget. The difference on the revenue side—this is the point that Mrs Dunne goes to—

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We are four minutes into the question and the minister has not even attempted to address the question, which is: what advice have you sought as to the impact this variance will have on the end of year 2007-08 figures? He cannot talk about 2005-06.

MR SPEAKER: There was a preamble to it that the Chief Minister is trying to—

Mrs Dunne: So you think this is a four minute preamble, do you Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: I do not think anything of the sort. Come to the subject matter of the question Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: The bottom line is that the increase in revenue was achieved as a result of a higher level of turnover or activity in the housing market. It is not that the level of taxation increased; it is that the numbers of transactions increased.

As to the question of whether I now know what the end of year result will be, the answer is no. I am not quite sure what the mid-year review will reflect at this stage.

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