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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 February 2018) . . Page.. 42 ..

Our economy expanded by 4.6 per cent last year. That is higher than was projected in the budget and we are expecting further growth of around four per cent this year. This means that the government’s policy settings are working effectively in the ACT and that this is as a result of the settings of this government. When we—

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Chief Minister, please, can you resume your seat? Alistair—sorry, Mr Coe; I do apologise—Leader of the Opposition. Mr Wall, I add you to the list. Mr Hanson! Welcome to question time 2018, I say to members. How about a bit of silence from the bunkers of the opposition, thank you. Chief Minister.

MR BARR: It is also very pleasing to see that the territory’s rate of population growth continues to increase. All of this would not be occurring if this government had not adopted the suite of policies that we have over the past few years. We remain very confident and optimistic about the territory’s economic outlook over the forward estimates period. Indeed, the mid-year budget update reflects that confidence both in the economic forecasts and the territory’s underlying fiscal position.

MS ORR: How is the government continuing to deliver on its election commitments and boost services for Canberrans through the budget update?

MR BARR: We have this week completed a further suite of election commitment delivery through the midyear update. Clearly, there have been significant investments in health and education infrastructure, as well as a range of municipal and community service investments.

The budget update delivers on more of our election commitments, including the rollout of laptops to students in ACT public high schools ahead of schedule, the recruitment of a new full ambulance crew to help meet rising demand in that area, strengthening our community engagement efforts, and, of course, an election commitment we made to upgrade the Mark Webber track.

We laid out a very big agenda at the last election, and we are delivering on that progressively through this parliamentary term. At the same time we are also strengthening the territory’s budget position. This gives us capacity to invest more in front-line service delivery across the range of state and municipal service delivery responsibilities that we have. We look forward to delivering more surgeries this year and to continuing our very significant infrastructure program throughout 2018 and beyond.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, given that this is the sixth budget update in which the government has maintained a projected return to balance in 2018-19, does the government remain committed to delivering a balanced budget?

MR BARR: Yes, we are.

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