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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2049 ..

Estimates 2008-2009—Select Committee

Report—government response

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) (12.07): As we are about to move to the Appropriation Bill, to assist with the coming debate on the bill, I now present the government’s response to the report of the Select Committee on Estimates. For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Estimates 2008-2009—Select Committee—Report—Appropriation Bill 2008-2009—Government response, dated June 2008.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

I thank the committee and its support staff for the report on Appropriation Bill 2008-2009.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of presenting to this Assembly a budget for the future—a budget that was prepared by a government that is ready for the future; a budget that presents a vision for a long-term future for this great city. This is a budget that we have been able to deliver because we have undertaken necessary reform, made hard decisions and maintained fiscal discipline.

I remind the Assembly of the achievements of the 2008-2009 budget and, in particular, the unprecedented, indeed historic, investment in the territory’s infrastructure. As I made clear at the time, the budget’s centrepiece—building the future—is a billion dollar investment in the productive capacity of our economy. It is a billion dollars channelled into areas that are of critical importance to our city: our health system, our transport system; combating climate change and reinvigorating our urban amenities as well as to communication technology infrastructure and boosting our capital works program.

It is a budget that dedicates hundreds of millions of dollars to targeted recurrent programs designed to maintain the exceptional standard of services Canberrans have become accustomed to under this government. Not content with this alone, the budget was also framed to deliver much deserved tax cuts to, among others, pensioners, first home buyers and, of course, the business community—and all this while responsibility maintaining modest budget surpluses and strong cash surpluses across the forward years. The 2008-2009 budget leaves the ACT indeed ready for the future.

Turning then to the Select Committee on Estimates and its deliberations on this important document, in its consideration of the budget the committee it has canvassed a wide range of issues, the result of which has been the presentation of 54 recommendations to the government. The government has duly responded to each of these recommendations in turn. I will not take the Assembly’s time now by working through each of the select committee’s recommendations. These are separately discussed in the response document that I have tabled here today.

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