Page 4742 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 10 November 2009

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payment of compensation to the lessees of block 19 section 23 Hume and block 2227 Jerrabomberra, together known as Stonyhurst. The compensation relates to lessee-owned improvements on approximately 17.4 hectares of land zoned for future industrial use which will be withdrawn to enable the Canberra technology city development to commence. I commend the paper to the Assembly.

Financial Management Act—consolidated financial report

Paper and statement by minister

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 26—Consolidated Annual Financial Report, including audit opinion—2008-2009 financial year.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: I am pleased to present to the Assembly the 2008-09 Consolidated annual financial report for the territory. The final 2008-09 net operating balance for the general government sector is a deficit of $27 million. Given the overall size of the budget, this is practically a balanced result, with the outcome representing less than one per cent of the overall budget. The government is very pleased with the results given the level of economic uncertainty experienced nationally and internationally throughout 2008-09. Against a background of such uncertainty, we took a considered and prudent approach to managing the territory’s finances in responding to those external challenges and in framing the 2009-10 budget. The financial outcome announced today for the 2008-09 year reflects that approach.

It has been a tough year. Let us not forget the significant economic and financial impacts that resulted in our revenues declining significantly over a short period of time. Let us cast our minds back to last year. The global economy had seen the sharpest decline in economic activity since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Global financial markets were in turmoil and many international economies were in recession.

Our budget was not immune from those impacts, particularly our revenues. GST revenues went back by about $11 million and taxation revenues went back by about $16 million, both of which should have grown broadly in line with growth in the economy. Similarly, while we expected gains on our superannuation investments during 2008-09, the impacts of the financial markets crisis saw a substantial negative return to the territory.

Despite the uncertainty associated with the global financial crisis, better than forecast national economic conditions were experienced in the latter quarter of 2008-09. These improved conditions reflect the effectiveness of the federal government’s stimulus measures, the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy settings and, in some part, our own local initiatives to support employment and provide confidence to the economy.

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