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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 6 May 2010) . . Page.. 1879 ..

It is only one area, but I have to say that the pressures in health are so great and so difficult to meet every year that increasing a $2 million grants round is on the list but it is not at the top of the list, Ms Le Couteur.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Minister, given that a number of groups have stated they need long-term contracts to implement their health promotion programs effectively, is the government considering moving to three-year funding contracts under this grants scheme?

MS GALLAGHER: There are a number of organisations who do get long-term funding through the health promotion grants. I can certainly think of a few. It is a hard one, I think. I also get representations through a number of organisations that think that people should not get long-term funding under that, that they should only be used for one-off or short-term projects, because by moving people to three years, it reduces the pool available for those who have new ideas that want to come forward. So there is a balancing act.

It is similar to other grants rounds that we have been involved with. Indeed, when the community inclusion fund was a set period of time and when that finished, we were left with a range of programs that we needed to then go and find funding for in a longer term sense. It is a balancing act. There are a number that already get multi-year funding, I think they call it at the moment. I am not opposed, necessarily, to looking at that, but we have to acknowledge that, if we do more of that, we reduce the pool for everybody else.

It being 2.30 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2010-2011

Debate resumed from 4 May 2010, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (2.30): Mr Speaker, welcome to the richest boom time the ACT budget has ever seen. The Australian economy is doing well. Commonwealth spending in the ACT means our economy is doing even better. Revenues have risen beyond anyone’s expectations. Employment opportunities abound. Labour force participation rates are soaring and inflation remains tamed. These are not just good times, these are the best of times.

I should be rising to celebrate a balanced budget, exciting new initiatives and a new era of opportunity for better services and lower taxation, but I cannot. Instead I am here to lament a budget that gives us deficit after deficit, debt upon debt, a stagnation in services and a massive tax grab on homeowners and car drivers.

Mr Speaker, our job as an opposition is to scrutinise the budget line by line, while also examining and highlighting the poor policy that brought such a budget into being and

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