Page 4584 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what is the latest forecast for economic growth in the ACT by your department and how does this affect any increased or new charges?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, the economic forecasts for the ACT have been published in the ACT budget and they will be updated in the midyear review, and I would urge members to go back to that document and then, in December or February, depending on Mr Smyth’s feedback, you will get an update to those forecasts.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Thank you. Minister, would you now fast-track your seven-year recovery strategy to restore a balanced budget?

MS GALLAGHER: Not at this point in time. Those decisions will be made by budget cabinet in putting together next year’s budget. If there is capacity to bring forward a recovery strategy, of course the budget cabinet will look at that. But, again, the budget strategy was designed around allowing growth—

Mr Hanson: Designed?

MS GALLAGHER: Well, it was; it was designed around allowing growth in the budget, acknowledging that costs for the ACT government will continue to increase, and allowing for some expenditure restraint and a longer recovery over time as things return more to normal from what we have seen as a result of the global financial crisis.

I do not know whether the Liberals agree with the seven-year strategy or whether they have a shorter timetable, based on all the details in the budget; whether they have designed a recovery strategy as an alternative to our budget recovery strategy. I do not know. If they have, they are keeping it pretty secret; it must be a secret deal on that side. But the budget plan was designed in a seven-year timetable to allow flexibility. If that allows it to be shortened or indeed to take into consideration anything that might occur over that seven-year time that will be taken into consideration by budget cabinet as these decisions are made over the next few months.


MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. After significant discussion in the public arena over many years, you recently signed and tabled subordinate legislation to remove the availability of consumer fireworks over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Can you outline to the Assembly what immediate effect this subordinate legislation will have?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Ms Burch for the question. I was tempted to take it on notice, but I resisted that temptation. As members will be aware, the Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Amendment Regulation 2009 (No 2) amends the Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004 to ban the use of fireworks by members of the public. The use of fireworks by the public on the Queen’s Birthday weekend will no longer be permitted. Resellers will no longer be able to sell fireworks to the public.

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