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Health Consultancy

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I table the terms of reference for the Booz Allen report and the study objectives which were formulated after discussions with a number of interested parties.

MR SPEAKER: It being 3.00 pm, in accordance with the resolution agreed to earlier this day I call Mrs Carnell.


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (3.00): I present the Appropriation Bill 1995-96, together with the explanatory memorandum and associated budget papers.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The budget I present today is a first for ACT and Australian governments. It is an Australian first because we are releasing a realistic three-year budget. Gone are the simplistic forward estimates that have borne no relation to reality, as has been clearly demonstrated in previous years. In their place are real, achievable bottom lines that we will live within. It is an ACT first because there is now a government that can deliver a budget strategy to put the Territory back in the black. This budget has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with reality. It is a tough budget, but it is not a horror budget. It is about better management and about creating a can-do culture in the ACT. We were elected to do a job - to provide Canberrans with an open and accountable system of regional government, and to get on with making this city a better place to live in and to visit.

The budget I am outlining today will help us to do just that, using a three-year plan that provides signposts of our progress towards a balanced budget. Canberrans have enjoyed a good quality of life for many years now. We want to preserve that quality of life, but at a price that we can afford. It will require changes, it will require reform, and it will not be easy. If we do not change, it will mean more of the same, and more of the same will not reduce our record waiting lists for surgery. More of the same will not provide young Canberrans with long-term employment. More of the same will mean refusing to take the tough decisions that have to be taken. This budget sets about creating an environment that will allow Canberra to move ahead without leaving anybody behind. It also delivers on major commitments we gave during the election campaign - commitments in health, education, employment growth, business, the arts and community services.

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