Page 70 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 December 2008

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Mrs Dunne: It’s a guess.

MS GALLAGHER: I can see I’m going to live to regret the word “guess”. In my thinking, I am thinking over the next four years. That is the answer I would give.

Mr Seselja: It’s an electoral cycle.

MS GALLAGHER: It’s actually not an electoral cycle, Mr Seselja. How cynical! It’s actually a budget cycle, because you will notice, if you do open the budget papers, that they are presented over a four-year period. The forward estimates are for a four-year period, and that was the context in which I made those comments. And I think it will be a challenge. I am glad to hear my comments read back to me, and I am glad to hear that they were correct, in my head.

Mr Smyth: You didn’t want Ted’s chart back?

MS GALLAGHER: I’ve seen Ted’s chart, and I think that goes to the original point I made, which was that I don’t think there is uniform agreement about what constitutes an economic cycle. I think that will be the challenge ahead. We are facing unprecedented times. We have made some commitments which we stand by. We have always said that we want to deliver surpluses over the economic cycle, and I have to say that over the next two years that will be a challenge, but we are going to work hard at delivering it.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, how can we hold you to delivering a surplus “over the economic cycle” when you can’t predict, or even guess, when a particular cycle will end?

MS GALLAGHER: Well, I answered it.

Mrs Dunne: No, you didn’t.

MS GALLAGHER: You pre-empted my answer to your question with your supplementary. I was going to give you an answer which would then flow nicely into the supplementary, but I answered your question. I said it was over a four-year period.

Planning—approval process

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and relates to ACTPLA’s approval process. The minister would be aware that there is a backlog of development applications and the minister would be aware that many applications made under the new planning system are not presented under the correct track—the tracks being code, merit and impact. Could the minister please elaborate on the extent to which this delays the processing of these applications?

MR BARR: I thank the member for her question. Members of the Assembly would be aware that, just prior to the introduction of the new planning system, there was an

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