Page 515 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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Administrative Arrangements—Administrative Arrangements Amendment 2009 (No 1)—Notifiable Instrument NI2009-21 (S1, dated Wednesday, 21 January 2009).

Legislation program—autumn 2009

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Legislation program—autumn 2009.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the government’s legislation program for the autumn 2009 sittings and its first in the Seventh Assembly. As we edge closer to the centenary of this city in four years time, and celebrate 20 years of self-government in May, the government is resolved to continue its drive to make Canberra a better city and a stronger community, including by delivering on its election promises.

At the same time, we will be looking to address head-on the current challenges posed by the global financial crisis, climate change, and increased pressures on services and infrastructure. In this regard, the government has already hit the ground running by taking some important initial steps with the new legislation it introduced last December.

Key among these was the presentation and passage of the second Appropriation Bill that fulfilled our election promises to meet a number of immediate needs. It allowed for continued assistance to the vulnerable in the community affected by the present economic crisis, provided initiatives to stabilise the local economy, and enhanced accountability and transparency processes in the Assembly. The 2009-2010 Appropriation Bill will, as usual, provide the focus for the government’s legislation and financial agenda and is to be introduced in May.

Some of the other proposed financial legislation of note includes the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2009, which will follow up a new federal financial relations intergovernmental agreement. That commenced in January 2009. As well as improving the quality and responsiveness of government services by reducing commonwealth prescriptions on service delivery, the agreement streamlines the administration of grant payments. In line with the new streamlined arrangements, the bill will allow the netting of the ACT’s share of the Australian Taxation Office’s goods and services tax administration costs from our GST revenue, without requiring separate appropriation.

Along with other states and territories, the ACT has agreed to administer the Australian government’s first home owner boost initiative program. To administer the boost in the ACT, changes will be made to the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000. The initiative aims to stimulate housing activity, give first home buyers a better chance in the housing market and promote growth in the Australian economy.

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