Page 1921 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 5 May 2009

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progressed and additional expenditure to meet agency pressures in key areas of government service delivery such as child protection have been funded.

These are difficult times. These are also uncertain times.

These are times when we all must work together to support our community and to engage in a conversation about how we work towards recovery. This is as true for the Government as it is for the Opposition and cross-bench, for industry and the community sector, for workers, business owners, unions and academics.

We all have a stake in the Territory’s future. We must all work together at this time.

The Territory’s economy is sound, and it has the strength to withstand the shock progressing through the world economic system.

It will be supported by our prudent and targeted response.

We have seen more than $1 billion wiped out of our revenues since the last budget. We have seen more than $500 million wiped out of our financial assets.

Our community can have confidence as our financial position demonstrated through our balance sheet is sound. It provides us with capacity to withstand the financial shock. It provides us with capacity to preserve, and in fact meet the growing need for services. It provides us with capacity to invest at a time of need to support the economy and jobs.

It provides us with the time to embark on our adjustment task.

The Government is committed to returning to a balanced Budget—this is one of our financial policy objectives.

The Government has a proven track record of making the hard decisions when they’re in the best interest of the community. But these are not the times to cut expenditures or raise taxes.

The times call for a measured approach.

The Budget puts our community first and delivers the services it needs. It invests in infrastructure. It provides stability and confidence. It supports jobs.

It meets the challenges of today while investing for tomorrow.

We are investing in our community.

This is a Budget for the times.

Mr Speaker, I commend the Appropriation Bill and 2009-10 Budget to the Assembly and to the community of the ACT.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

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