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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 February 2011) . . Page.. 63 ..

I present the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to subsection 20A(2)—Budget 2010-2011—Budget review.

This report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. I seek leave to make a short statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: I present to the Assembly the budget review for 2010-11, prepared in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996. The general government sector headline net operating balance has improved by around $79 million in 2010-11, from a deficit of $83.9 million to a deficit of $5.8 million. This improvement is primarily the result of a large one-off taxation revenue return to the territory relating to the finalisation of prior year assessments.

The variations to the budget estimates are technically driven, with the exception of the one policy decision announced by the government to form a partnership with the Greater Western Sydney football club.

Our GST revenue estimates have been revised downwards as a result of a decrease in the national GST pool, equating to a $61 million loss in GST revenue grants to the territory across the budget and forward estimates. Taxation revenues associated with the property activity are forecast to improve marginally, underpinned by the continuing strength of the market and the current low interest rate environment.

The territory’s investments have been performing better than previously anticipated due to the recovery in debt and equity markets and increasing interest rates. Returns from the land program are also increasing across the forward estimates, largely following a reassessment of the program to take account of the current state of the market and potential future market impacts and joint venture profit distributions.

The financial position of the general government sector, as assessed through a number of balance sheet measures, continues to grow and improve since the budget. The changes in the balance sheet largely relate to increased investment values as a result of the recovery of the financial markets and the increased value of infrastructure assets following asset revaluations.

We have a strong record in delivering capital works to the territory, as represented by the strength of the infrastructure assets on our balance sheet. Our program continues to provide the essential infrastructure solutions for Canberrans necessary to support the ongoing delivery of high-quality services to the community.

As part of the 2010-11 budget review we have again undertaken an assessment of our capital works program in light of the first six months of project activity. This reprofiling exercise also included accelerating some projects and bringing forward planned outyear expenditure to progress or hasten some existing projects. This is a prudent approach to maintaining expenditure on infrastructure works by advancing projects to offset delays in others. As such, the program is only estimating a very

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