Page 2381 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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Proposed expenditure—part 1.24—ACT Insurance Authority—$10,000,000 (capital injection), totalling $10,000,000—agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—part 1.25—Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission—$471,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $471,000—agreed to.

Total appropriated to agencies—$2,072,315,000 (net cost of outputs), $715,225,000 (capital injection), $420,599,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $3,208,139,000

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (2.08 am): I would just like to reiterate that the glaring deficiency in this budget is the failure of the territory government to introduce any significant tax reform and provide any relief for families, those on fixed incomes and superannuants. This territory has dramatically improved its financial position, and the case is very clear and overwhelming that the people of Canberra ought to be getting back some of the extensive and wide-ranging taxes that have been imposed on this community. It is a real disappointment that this budget has simply paid lip-service to people in that predicament.

We are seeing families suffer at a greater and greater rate. Each month my office is monitoring the number of proceedings in the Supreme Court in relation to people who are becoming partners on distressed loans and who are finding their financial positions such that they are defaulting on mortgages. We ought to be doing what we can as a territory to provide some relief in the wake of these pressures on families, but this budget is basically all about spending and pays little regard to that predicament.

I would also just like to say—I did not really get into much detail on the estimates—that I was underwhelmed by the principal report on the estimates process and I was underwhelmed by the dissenting report, which I thought focused excessively on trivia and indexation of papers and documents. It missed many of the main concerns that people have expressed to me in this territory in relation to the budget.

Whilst I will vote in favour of the budget, I think it is important to register the difficulties that many Canberrans are facing. I am sorry that tax reform did not feature in the budget in any significant way, nor did it feature in either the principal report or the dissenting report produced on this budget.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—part 1.26—Treasurer’s advance—$32,000,000—agreed to.

Total appropriations—$2,072,315,000 (net cost of outputs), $715,225,000 (capital injection) $420,599,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $3,240,139,000

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) (2.11 am): Just before putting that to the final vote, Mr Speaker, I take the opportunity to thank

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