Page 329 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hanson has the floor. Let us hear his question, thank you.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: I cannot hear anybody. Mr Hanson, just ask your question, thank you.

MR HANSON: I will repeat it. Treasurer, what hope does the ACT have of getting a reasonable outcome from this review if you are so tardy about prosecuting the ACT’s case?

MR BARR: Mr Hanson fails to understand the two important distinctions. As I tried to explain to him yesterday, there is a policy review process around what might occur in the future and then there is an annual allocation process. As I pointed out to the shadow treasurer yesterday, GST relativity reflects the level of funding that a state or territory requires to deliver an average level of service at an average level of efficiency with an average level of revenue raising effort. That is the process that the commission goes through—

Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Ms Gallagher interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth has a point of order.

Mr Smyth: Thank you, Chief Minister. Under standing 118(b) the minister is not to debate the issue. The question is: when will we get a reasonable outcome and why has he been tardy in prosecuting the case, not what the process of GST distribution actually is?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order at this stage. There is room for the minister to actually discuss the process given where the question is headed. But, minister, let us make sure that we answer the question in the available time.

MR BARR: The important point, Mr Speaker, is to draw the distinction between the work of a review panel, as in some former premiers and a businessman who are looking at the policy settings, and then the annual work of the Grants Commission. These are two separate exercises on different time frames with different policy requirements.

In the end, prosecuting the ACT’s case on an annual basis and then in terms of the longer term policy position are two different issues. That is important. The ACT government is progressing the territory’s position in both areas.

Gungahlin government office building

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is for the Minister for Economic Development and is in regard to the government office buildings in Gungahlin and Civic. The

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