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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 825 ..

Thursday, 8 March 2001

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Appropriation Bill 2000-2001 (No 2)

Mr Humphries, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum and the following supplementary paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 13-Appropriation Bill 2000-2001 (No 2)-Supplementary budget paper.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, before I proceed to the details of this bill, perhaps it would be useful to provide an overview of the economic and financial position of the territory. The latest ABS reports indicate a healthy economic position for the ACT. The trend retail turnover increased by 0.9 per cent over the past month, compared to the national figure of 0.4 per cent over the same period. The increase was more significant at 14.4 per cent over the same period last year (that is, over December 1999 figures), compared to the national increase of 5.5 per cent. This is the highest growth in retail trade among all the states and territories. South Australia is the closest, at 7.7 per cent.

On the employment front, job advertisements during February grew by 0.7 per cent in trend terms over the previous month and 5.2 per cent compared with the same period last year. By comparison, nationally, job advertisements decreased by 2 per cent over the previous month and decreased by 24.1 per cent over the same period last year. The ACT is the only jurisdiction, apart from the Northern Territory, which recorded an increase in job advertisements, in either trend or seasonal terms.

In summary, the ACT has either bettered the national figures or bucked the downward national trends. As a consequence, the revenue performance to date has been better than expected and is reflected in the year-to-date results provided to the Assembly.

This supplementary appropriation bill needs to be considered in this context. The bill provides additional appropriations of $43.244 million to a number of territory departments. These appropriations comprise $8.160 million in government payments for outputs, $28.267 million for payments on behalf of the territory and $6.817 million in capital injection.

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