Page 5163 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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MS HUNTER: Minister, why has the government not included its long-term commitment to 210 megawatts of locally generated solar power in the sustainable energy policy, given that this is supposed to be a long-term strategic document, and has the government walked away from that commitment?

MR CORBELL: No, the government has not walked away from that commitment. The actions specified in the energy policy relate to those specific actions the government has agreed to implement over the course of this term and into future terms.

Economy—cost of living

MR COE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Minister, under your government, Canberrans have seen the cost of living sky rocket, with increases including taxation per capita growing by 76 per cent, rates up by over 75 per cent, rents up by over 68 per cent and car parking costs up by 57 per cent. Recently released data from the ABS has shown that the cost of living in Canberra continues to increase, with rents up 5.8 per cent and water and sewerage up 12 per cent just in the last 12 months. Minister, why does your government continue to support a tax on Canberrans who cannot afford to pay for 12 months of car registration in one hit?

MS GALLAGHER: All matters around revenue and how the government takes revenue in through the budget are matters that are under continuous consideration by the government. Mr Coe might not realise this because he has never been in a position where he has had to put a budget together, but money comes in and money goes out. And the money going out is actually for services—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Well, for services like health, education, transport, community services, child protection, arts—

Mr Coe: Public art.

MS GALLAGHER: Well, the arts is a line in the budget, Mr Coe. Not supportive of the arts in a budget? We have just had some very impassioned speeches this morning from your shadow arts minister. Yes, there is a line for supporting the arts in the budget.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Coe. Your point has been made.

MS GALLAGHER: That money is in the budget. I imagine that governments in the future will continue to support the arts. Governments, when they are formulating their budgets, look at all of these matters, with the key focus being putting downward pressure on costs for Canberrans, but accepting that services need to be provided.

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