Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1588 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
and Red Hill primary schools will receive $2.8 million for refurbishment and work will commence this year on the Gungahlin High School due for completion in 2004-05.
Mr Speaker, the budget commits $13.2 million to the much needed upgrade of Quamby Detention Centre.
The government retains the $50 million that was set aside last budget for the new remand centre. This funding has been provided for in the 2004-05 budget. As well as the $40 million provided in 2004-05 for the convention centre, this budget provides $250,000 to progress the work done to date.
The health and community care portfolio will undertake $20.9 million of new works through this budget. Major refurbishment works are planned at the Canberra Hospital, including paediatrics unit, psychiatrics services, pain management clinic, and non-acute in-patient areas. The budget commits to a major redevelopment of Karralika alcohol and drug facilities at Fadden and Isabella Plains at a cost of $5.1 million, to provide improved and increased alcohol and drug rehabilitation services.
Mr Speaker, superannuation remains an area of financial challenge for the territory. The ACT has had to bear significant losses as a result of the global downturn in investment markets. While we are not alone in experiencing falls in the value of our investments, the government has taken measures to protect the territory's position.
Since the last budget, this government has adopted a conservative investment strategy. That decision has paid off, with equity investment losses offset by the placement of 2002-03 cash injections in more defensive assets.
For 2003-04, earnings projections have been revised downwards to 3 per cent and 4 per cent across the forward estimates. The 5 per cent earnings target will be met over the long term and the budget strategy to achieve 90 per cent funding of the liability by 2039-40 remains unchanged.
The government has also injected additional capital over the budget and forward estimates period to compensate for the investment losses experienced in recent years.
By 2006-07, the percentage of the superannuation liability that is funded will rise from 63 per cent to 67 per cent.
The government is committed to ensuring that our liability is met and that losses sustained are covered to maintain our funding target.
Taxation and revenue changesMr Speaker, in formulating the budget, the government is continuing its commitment to the ACT community to improve the fairness and progressiveness of the ACT tax system by minimising the additional tax burden on the less well-off sectors of the community.