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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4111 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

The budget forecasts within the consultation document have been revised downward, mostly due to the poor performance of superannuation-related market investments. This government is committed to making financially sound decisions. In this context, we welcome suggestions that are mindful of the constrained financial environment.

Similar to last year's process, I wish also to formally invite the standing committees of the Legislative Assembly to participate in the budget community consultation process through self-referral of the relevant committees. The government will not compel Assembly committees to be involved in the consultative process and will not dictate terms of reference to the committees. The decision to be involved in the budget consultation process lies with each standing committee.

The flexibility provided with regard to the terms of reference will give committees sufficient scope to conduct qualitative assessments on issues of service delivery within policy areas. However, to be useful to government in considering the budget, the committees will need to report by 7 March 2003.

The government encourages debate on spending and service priorities and hopes that the Assembly committees will choose to participate, along with community and business groups, in the process. As Treasurer, I will be writing to committee chairs to invite the committees to self-refer and participate in the consultative process.

Ministerial visit to the US and UK-September 2002

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:

Ministerial Visit to the US & UK-September 2002.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, the purpose of the visit to the US and the UK was to visit cities that had demonstrated an ability to create an expanded economic base while at the same time adopting sustainable policies for city growth. The cities visited between 3 and 13 September were Austin, Texas; Wichita, Kansas; Washington, DC; London, UK; and Cambridge, UK.

The major benefits of the trip were, first of all, the understanding of how cities like Austin and Wichita have combined the efforts of government and business to build sustainable growth. Let me say that it is now my firm conviction that any city that wishes to consciously grow its economy, particularly in knowledge industries, has to work very hard and has to involve the various sectors within the city, particularly academe and business, in that development. It is not sufficient for government just to be involved in a couple of high-profile assistance efforts but not to be actually consciously involved.

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