Page 2122 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 8 May 2012

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DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. Not as I have been advised.

National Capital Authority—funding

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please advise of the implications for the ACT of the commonwealth’s announcement regarding the NCA?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. There does appear to be some good news in the commonwealth budget for the National Capital Authority. I would imagine that all of us in this place would welcome the announcement and the discussions that have been had around the need for a funding boost for the NCA to enable it to do its job properly and comprehensively here in Canberra.

The commonwealth response to the Hawke review, which has been outlined, includes a funding boost to the NCA of $11.9 million over four years. I think this is really good news. Anyone who has been a community leader in Canberra and discussed these matters with the NCA—and I know that all members in this place do—will accept that this is probably some money that has been hard fought for by the NCA and will very much be welcomed in terms of supporting the role that they do.

It is also important to acknowledge that it is clear that Simon Crean—and I have had a number of meetings with him over the past year—does understand that Canberra has an important role to play as the nation’s capital. Indeed I think this funding is very much in line with Julia Gillard’s statement that she made on Canberra’s 99th birthday about Canberra being the national capital and that it is important to promote that role to the rest of Australia.

The Hawke review, in terms of a collaboration in work, has clearly shown the federal government that the NCA and the ACT government can work together to sort through some of the challenges that exist in some of the dual roles that we hold across the ACT. It has been those relationships and collaboration that have persuaded the commonwealth to provide this extra funding and really forge ahead with seeing some changes to the way the NCA operates in the ACT in terms of the roles that the NCA and the ACT government share.

I really welcome today’s announcement. I am sure others in this place do. It will ensure that the NCA are able to meet their responsibilities. They have important responsibilities in this town. We would have liked to have heard of some capital funding to finish off the Bowen connection around Lake Burley Griffin, but obviously that is a work in progress. This money will be well utilised by the NCA, and the ACT government will work shoulder to shoulder with them to make sure we deliver on the changes that the commonwealth government expects.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, are there any opportunities for additional representation of the ACT community on the NCA board?

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