Page 1794 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 April 2009

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MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. The ACT government in the current economic climate, looking at the issues that our economy is facing and the capacity within the ACT government to deal with that, is looking at a whole range of options to deal with microeconomic reform. I notice that those opposite have opposed every single microeconomic reform that this government has ever sought to introduce.

I can tell you that we are not in the position where there will be significant changes to the revenue that the ACT government collects each year. I can advise the opposition that there will not be significant changes, but we are working with industry—talking with them and listening to them. A number of roundtables that the Chief Minister and I have held, along with Minister Barr, are looking at all the options that industry have put to us and considering them in the context of this budget. I am sorry for the opposition, but they will just have to wait and see.

MR HANSON: Treasurer, what negotiations have you had with the NSW government with respect to achieving microeconomic reform on a cross-border basis?

MS GALLAGHER: I haven’t.


MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the Stanhope-Gallagher government is presumably in the process of finalising the 2009-10 budget. In preparing the budget, would you have provided cabinet with regular updates on the state of the budget for this financial year, that is, for 2008-09? Treasurer, in doing so, did you rely on figures that were contained in the midyear review or did you provide cabinet with later figures on the estimated budget outcome for 2008-2009?

MS GALLAGHER: I know Mrs Dunne would love to be at the cabinet table, considering and putting together the ACT budget, but she is not. The budget decisions, the budget discussions, are cabinet-in-confidence and I think it would be highly unusual for me to come in here and inform the Assembly about information provided to cabinet in the context of those discussions. Mrs Dunne knows that. In the highly unlikely situation that Mrs Dunne will ever be in cabinet, we presume she would hold the same view as I do: the information provided to cabinet in the context of cabinet decisions and budget decisions is cabinet-in-confidence. I am not here to talk about it with you.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: On the assumption, of course, that that information was provided to cabinet, minister, why would you not provide the public accounts committee with updated outcomes on the 2008-2009 financial year?

MS GALLAGHER: We published the estimated outcome through the midyear review and through the budget papers and it is reflected in the quarterly reports following the midyear review. That is the practice in this place.

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