Page 3374 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 14 November 2007

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priority areas and to invest in the territory’s physical and social infrastructure. Surpluses also maintain a buffer against fiscal shocks and provide capacity to deal with unforeseen circumstances. In conjunction with a strong balance sheet they also help maintain our AAA credit rating.

The general government sector balance sheet remains strong at $11.4 billion as at 30 September 2007. Net debt, excluding superannuation investments—a longer-term measure of financial stability—improved by $23 million from 30 June 2007 to minus $563 million. Negative net debt indicates that cash reserves and investments continue to be greater than gross debt liabilities. The September 2007 result demonstrates that our fiscal strategy implemented over the past two budgets is paying off. It also highlights that the territory’s economy remains strong and healthy. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Australian Railway Historical Society

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (3.46): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognises the importance of rail heritage in the ACT;

(2) acknowledges the significant contribution the Australian Railway Historical Society provides for Canberra; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) investigate ways to ensure the future of the Australian Railway Historical Society and investigate the provision of financial assistance in any possible relocation; and

(b) ensure the provision of suitable land, catering for all of the Society’s needs, should it be necessary for the Society to be relocated.

The ACT is recognised nationwide as a hub for education and information. Our museums and galleries provide us with interactive exhibits and displays that are available for all of Australia to enjoy. Whether or not it is the Australian War Memorial, Old Parliament House or the National Museum of Australia, there is always a surprising amount of material that will help us all achieve a better understanding of the Australian way of life. The ACT is fortunate enough to house these collections that represent our history.

Another lesser-known, active museum is run by the Australian Railway Historical Society. The museum, located in Kingston, offers an important glimpse into the history of railways in Australia. The society over the last 40 years has gathered a large amount of railway related items. Today the society owns or has custody of more than 100 items of rolling stock. These include seven steam locomotives, five diesel locomotives, four diesel rail motors and an extensive fleet of vintage timber-bodied and modern steel sitting, sleeping and dining cars.

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