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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1410 ..


Government contract requirements and red tape adversely affected organisations’ capacity to deliver services;

While respondents indicated an increase in the number of paid staff, 62% reported that the current salaries in the community sector make attracting and retaining staff more difficult;

To give her her due:

Positively, 82% of respondents indicated they were able to speak publicly about issues affecting their clients.

This is the dilemma that we face. This is the human side, the community side, of the perfect storm that the Canberra Business Council spoke of last year and warned the government that, if they did not have a strategy to address their debts, did not have a strategy to address their deficits—their deficits for the next seven years—business and employment would suffer.

We all know that a job and a roof over your head are the most important social determinants of health. And what we have from the most recent survey is that one in 10 are being turned away, most are not getting the services they would like, and most of the organisations cannot deliver the services adequately because of underfunding from this government and the onerous requirements of this government’s red tape.

This is at the heart of the budget. I say this so often: you cannot have social sustainability and economic sustainability unless you can afford it. That is why paragraph (2) of this motion looks at vulnerable Canberrans and hopes that they do not pay the price for this government’s fiscal ill discipline over the last eight years. But the reality is that they will, because Katy Gallagher had no plan this year. This is the Treasurer who had to hire outside help. She does not trust, obviously, her Treasury. She is obviously not getting the proposed cuts that were asked for from the departments. So she had to take $4½ million dollars and go looking for outside help, because this is a Treasurer who is not up to the job of delivering an economically sustainable Canberra and thereby a socially and environmentally sustainable Canberra.

I commend the motion to the House.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.03): The government will not be supporting this motion, and I do not think that will come as any surprise to the shadow treasurer. The presentation we have heard from the shadow treasurer is very similar to the presentation we had from the shadow health minister, rehashing a speech they have given probably 10 times in this place but offering no new ideas and no solutions.

This motion is about sustainability of the budget. But as the shadow treasurer has just indicated yet again, he has a very selective memory and a very short memory of recent occurrences and the impact that they have had on our budget. He also forgets what the Labor government has done. I think he went to the predicted deficits. What he did not go to is the fact that this Labor government delivered five successive


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