Page 1977 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 6 May 2009

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MS GALLAGHER: Okay. So that is relating to the budget. In relation to the report that you refer to, I have not seen those figures, if they relate to March. I will have to read them and I will get back to you. But I do not think you can necessarily link retail spending in the March quarter to a Treasury forecast about household consumption expenditure in 2009-10. I think that is what you are trying to do by your question.

Mr Smyth: No, I am not.

MS GALLAGHER: Well, I think you are, otherwise why would you have linked them?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, when will the decline in retail sales stop and the predicted growth commence?

MS GALLAGHER: I am trying to read some of the analysis here.

Mr Smyth: Maybe the Chief Minister should answer if you are not across your portfolio.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Brendan. As nice as ever! As I am just reading here: the data produced in the month of March does show a fall of 0.1 per cent. The monthly data, however, is extremely volatile. As to predicting what might be forecast in the next ABS data, I cannot predict that, Mr Smyth. I am a woman of considerable abilities, but, unlike you, who saw this problem coming in 2006, I cannot actually forecast when and what changes there might be to retail spending in the next quarter. As much as I would like to, I do not have the ability to forecast that.


MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, the 2009-10 ACT budget has provided a number of important and targeted initiatives to progress the government’s billion dollar health plan Your Health, Our Priority to ensure that our city has a healthcare system that meets the growing needs of the future. Minister, can you provide an outline of what these key initiatives are for the information of members?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. The 2009-10 budget continues the government’s $1 billion capital commitment to the major redevelopment of the public health system by providing a further $148 million towards the capital asset development plan on top of the $300 million provided in the 2008-09 budget. The new funding in 2009-10 will provide $90 million for e-health initiatives that will take advantage of information technology advances to improve the quality of health services and provide efficiencies in health service delivery.

New information and communication technologies are recognised as being key components in addressing and managing the increase in demand for health services,

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