Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2009) . . Page.. 1931 ..
(a) that the ACT Budget will be in deficit well into the next decade; and
(b) the failure of the reforms that were implemented by the Stanhope-Gallagher Government in 2006;
(2) regrets the failure of the Stanhope-Gallagher Government to publish the Strategic and Functional Review of the ACT Public Sector and Services;
(a) the failure of the Stanhope-Gallagher Government to control wasteful expenditure;
(b) the failure of the Stanhope-Gallagher Government to act to diversify the economic base of the ACT economy; and
(c) that the Economic White Paper has been superseded by Capital Development—Towards Our Second Century; and
(4) condemns the Stanhope-Gallagher Government for its inability to respond effectively to the downturn in the ACT economy.
Mr Speaker, this motion is intended to provide a focus on some longer term issues affecting the ACT economy. In doing this, it is pertinent to reach back into recent history and consider some significant influences and the outcomes of those influences. The Canberra Liberals in opposition have continually sought to hold the Stanhope-Gallagher government to account for its management of the ACT economy, and it is important to consider the elements of this motion one by one.
If we go back to 2006, there is an interesting quote from the then Treasurer, Mr Stanhope. He said:
We need to act now, and decisively, to safeguard the future.
Action now, and decisive action at that. Mr Stanhope said:
We need to act now, and decisively, to safeguard the future. We must address not just short-term budget difficulties, but the underlying structural legacies that, left untouched, will prevent this or any future ACT Government ensuring that the Canberrans of the future can enjoy the same high level of government services enjoyed by Canberrans today.
That was the Chief Minister speaking about the disastrous 2006 budget, which purported to put the ACT budget and the ACT economy on a sound footing, but in reality has failed to find any justifiable savings that continued long term. That is why we find ourselves in the position that we are in today.
As part (1)(a) notes, “the ACT Budget will be in deficit well into the next decade”. The ACT budget will be in deficit well into the next decade; a decade of deficits is on the cards. That is a problem for any business, but particularly for any economy. A