Page 2987 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

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Members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: We note the analysis that the Liberal Party did—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, Mr Seselja, thank you. Chief Minister, you have the floor.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think it depends again on the family that Mr Smyth is talking about. As we know, the rates are different across suburbs. The concessions program varies, depending on what your needs are. If you use bus travel, for example, or drive a car, then the needs are different and the impacts will be different.

But what I can assure Canberrans is that the government has made some very wise decisions in very challenging circumstances, where we have a budget in deficit, where we having growing demand for services, particularly in health and in our community service areas, where we have decided not to establish any more taxes, where we have implemented a tax review that will report in August. One of the terms of reference for that review is to examine whether the taxes, as levied now, are equitable and fair across the community. So there is a significant piece of work underway that I think will inform debate in this place in the future.

If the Liberal Party supports this appropriation bill tonight, if I can be optimistic, all Canberrans will benefit from a service delivery point of view or directly through the concessions regime and the work of government.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In the context of the cost of living implications for carers and for families, has the government provided any assistance to non-government organisations to address those cost of living implications, such as Volunteering ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: Obviously, in this budget there will be additional appropriation and indexation at, I think it is 3¼ per cent, for community organisations. We do spend millions and millions of dollars in support for the non-government sector. They do very, very valuable work. Obviously, Volunteering ACT would be in receipt of some of that assistance as well. I think that the work they do as an organisation is very important in supporting volunteers across the community.

Again, I think that the challenge for the Liberal Party is to support the budget that releases those funds, including potentially an additional $10,000, depending on when we get the cheque. If it comes in before 30 June—

Mr Hanson: When we get the cheque?

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