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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 274 ..

result of the continuing strength of the housing market. We have also revised upward our interest revenue, driven in part by an increase in interest rates from 6.25 per cent to 6.75 per cent—again, something that could not be confidently anticipated. Mr Speaker, we are comfortably placed, and that allows us the latitude to invest in the community.

The numbers I read out today are the numbers that will put the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, in the enviable position where she can bring to cabinet her proposals for an investment in health infrastructure unparalleled in our history. These are the kinds of numbers that allow us to say to Canberrans that theirs is a government that has the capacity to invest in tackling climate change, that can give their children state-of-the-art schools and the best paid teachers in the country. These are the kinds of numbers that will allow us to invest in the roads, the parks, the ovals, the community facilities, the car parks and the urban forests that go to the quality of our lives. They are the numbers that allow us to open a new school every year between now and 2013: Harrison primary school this year; the West Belconnen P-10 school in 2009; the Gungahlin secondary college in 2010; the Kambah P-10 school in 2011; and, almost certainly now, another new high school in Gungahlin in 2012, maybe 2013.

Mr Speaker, in addition to looking forward to strong surplus results, the ACT continues to maintain a strong balance sheet. Our AAA credit rating is a mark of our economic sustainability. The AAA rating is supported by key financial indicators, such as negative net debt, a low level of net financial liabilities and significant net worth. The midyear review forecasts improvements in these indicators.

The figures I table today are ones of which the government is justly proud. The government’s record of investment in the territory’s physical and social infrastructure is unparalleled. The forecast surpluses will allow us to make more targeted, prudent investments that make a difference in people’s lives. They will give us the capacity to resist the things we cannot control, including decisions made at other levels of government that will unavoidably affect a town like ours. Of course, they give us the capacity to buffer our community against the shocks that may be ahead courtesy of the Howard-Costello inflation genie. Mr Speaker, I commend the 2007-08 budget midyear review to the Assembly.

Financial Management Act––instruments

Papers and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Financial Management Act—Pursuant to section 16B—Instruments, including statements of reasons, authorising the rollover of undispersed appropriation—

ACT Planning and Land Authority, dated 4 February 2008.

Department of Territory and Municipal Services, dated 5 February 2008.

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