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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2789 ..


within which this particular budget was drafted. It is a small budget in relation to the proportion of increase in operational expenditure reflected in it. It is tiny as a proportion of the overall budget.

The budget is devoted to maintaining core services, whether they be in health, education or territory and municipal services. The overall focus of the budget was to continue to maintain existing services. To the extent that it could expand those existing services, we have done our best. But it needs to be understood in an operational sense that the additional operational expenditure in this budget, mindful of the fact that we are still predicting deficits of somewhere in the order of $200 million over the term, is in the order of about $40 million spread across all departments. That is, of course, reflected in our capacity for extra expenditure in territory and municipal services.

Members have raised particular issues of particular concern to them. We have all got those issues. The government has attempted to be objective and clinical in identifying those areas where in this budget we felt we could invest additional funds. In that regard in this budget we focused particularly on public transport. There is reflected in this budget somewhere in the order of $100 million in both operational and capital funding directed specifically at public transport.

It is a very significant part and parcel of the overall budget. It is a first payment on a new burst of investment in public transport. I have absolutely no doubt that it will be repeated in years to come as we roll out funding to pursue the design and feasibility of all of the projects that have been identified in this particular budget. I think it is tremendous for the government to find $100 million in a single budget for public transport initiatives across the board. It is for additional bus services, expansion of Redex, bus priority lanes, park and ride, bike paths, lighting, footpaths and design studies.

We are attacking some of the big and intractable issues that this community faces. Most particularly, we are attacking some of the issues in relation to priority bus lanes on major routes—the north, south, east and west routes. I refer to Northbourne Avenue, the busiest road in the ACT. Canberra Avenue also has issues which we are determined to tackle through this budget.

I will conclude by actually thanking the estimates committee, most particularly those that worked cooperatively to produce the consensus majority report. The government has responded to all of the recommendations made in relation to Territory and Municipal Services. We are happy to agree to, or note those that really are not requiring specific action, all of the recommendations made. I thank the consensus majority-based committee for its work.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (8.17): The 2010-11 ACT budget provides a significant increase in funding for the sport and recreation sector, most particularly $15 million in capital funding for a range of targeted investments.


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