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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4110 ..


Mr Stanhope presented the following paper:

ACT Public Hospitals-1st Quarter 2002-03-Service Activity Report, December 2002.

2003-2004 budget consultation

Paper and statement by minister

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

2003-2004 Budget Consultation

I ask for leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, the government welcomes a high degree of community participation in the decision-making processes. We also welcome, let me say, a high degree of understanding and appreciation of the processes and the limitations within the construction of a budget. This, of course, assists government in achieving equitable outcomes for all members of the ACT community. The government is conscious of the need to provide a responsible budget in tune with community needs.

The government has undertaken to increase the transparency and openness of the decision-making process through the continued use of the budget consultation process. This process provides an opportunity to the ACT community to communicate with the government prior to the finalisation of the territory budget. The purpose of the consultation process is to assist government in the development of its policies that reflect the needs and priorities of the community. Information derived from this process will help to determine the direction of the 2003-04 budget.

To assist the consultation process, I have tabled the budget consultation document to aid the debate on budget issues and priorities. Essentially, the information provides an overview of the territory's financial position as a backdrop against which the 2003-04 budget will be set. The purpose of the document is to promote improved information about the major issues currently facing the ACT and thereby assist the government to develop relevant and timely policy which best reflects the overall needs and interests of the territory.

The document will be sent to all major community and business groups. It will also be available on the government's consultation website and the Department of Treasury website. With the document will be an invitation for the provision of submissions for the budget to be provided to government.

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