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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5456 ..

in government-leased accommodation. Many of these variations are technical in nature and will not flow across the forward estimates.

I am pleased to report that our economy has seen continued improvements in growth in the latter quarter of the financial year, and prospects for the Australian and ACT economies remain positive. The territory’s state final demand was 7.8 per cent in year-on-year original terms in the June quarter 2010, predominantly due to strengthening in public demand and public infrastructure investment.

Following two years of below average growth, household final consumption expenditure in 2009-10 in the ACT has increased at its fastest pace in eight years. This was supported by strong employment growth of 1.2 per cent and solid population growth of 1.9 per cent.

Private dwelling construction also increased at a solid pace, reflecting the impact of initiatives to stimulate first homebuyer activity, the relatively low official interest rate environment, solid population growth and increased land supply through our accelerated program. Even with this improved outlook, the territory still has a substantial task ahead to return the budget to surplus, and we should be mindful of the budget adjustment task of our federal counterparts and the risks this represents for the territory economy and budget moving forward.

I can advise members that the next update of the territory’s financial position will be released with the budget review in February 2011—in line with Mr Smyth’s preference—including a review of our revenue forecasts and impacts of the commonwealth’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.

The financial statements I present today have been prepared in accordance with the Australian accounting standards and are in line with the requirements of the Financial Management Act.

The issue Mr Smyth raised around the superannuation liability fluctuating goes back to the issue mentioned at the previous question time, where the discount rate when the budget was put together was 5.9 per cent. A long-term average of six per cent is used, and when the budget was put together it was 5.9. It actually was 5.19, so the liability has increased. That is the chunky change in the order of $40 million.

In terms of how we meet our liability into the future, we have our own review processes built in. If the discount rate had not changed, I am advised that we would be on target at 50 per cent of our liability being met. It is now at 45 per cent. There is a three-year review, I think, during 2011-12. We are taking a very close look at this and remain committed to our target at that point in time. I commend the statements to the Assembly.

Implementation plan—Future directions: towards challenge 2014


MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for

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