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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1584 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Community consultation is now under way on the draft policy From Purchaser/Provider to Partnerships-Working Together to Maximise Outcomes. This policy aims for a consistent framework across government for how we fund non-government services. These services currently total $65 million per year.

The approach proposed would result in performance reporting which is proportional to risk and value, and useful to both parties. Information collected will not just be for assessing individual services, but aggregated to help identify community needs, and fed back into the policy, planning and funding cycle.

Mr Speaker, this budget will provide assistance to the community sector to meet increased costs associated with recent SACS Award decisions by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, which will affect community sector organisations contracted by the territory to provide community services. Funding of $1.5 million each year will be provided to offset the costs of this increase.

This government recognises the public sector's role in the community and Labor has been left with the legacy of the previous Liberal government's neglect of public sector wages. Provision is made across the budget to begin to address the wage disparity that was allowed to develop under the previous government. The public sector wage increases are by no measure overly generous but do begin to redress the imbalance. We have been left these problems and we are acting to address those problems, as a government should.

It is important to note at this point, Mr Speaker, that this budget was framed without input from Assembly committees who, for the first time, rejected the government's offer to participate.

Building Canberra's economic future

Mr Speaker, the 2002-03 budget laid the foundation for building the territory's economic future by making the most of economic opportunities and creating new opportunities, in line with the directions of the economic white paper.

The economic white paper, which will be released before the end of the year, will present a coherent vision and strategy to make the most of the territory's economic development opportunities. This budget progresses some of the issues of the white paper, such as business attraction, education, growing local businesses, smart technologies and tourism.

Business and economic development

Mr Speaker, the budget contains an array of initiatives to support and encourage the growth of business in the ACT.

The government has allocated $1.3 million over four years to establish a not-for-profit business attraction organisation, Partners Canberra, which will provide a one-stop shop for companies and individuals here and overseas to make the investment and expansionary relocation decisions.

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