Page 1633 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013
MR SMYTH: Treasurer, what taxes would be raised and what services would be cut as a result of this report being implemented?
MR BARR: It is a hypothetical question, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, it is. A supplementary question, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Treasurer, why have you not told the Assembly and the people of the ACT about the significant budgetary questions this raises, specifically a budget black hole of perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars?
MR BARR: I would refer the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to the government’s submission to the ICRC on the draft determinations.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe.
MR COE: Treasurer, given the impact that any changes to ACTEW’s water and sewerage prices would have on the government’s budget, why did you set the final report to be completed on 12 June, eight days after the budget is handed down?
MR BARR: There are processes that the ICRC must go through in order to complete its determination. We will, of course, take into account in future budgets the implications of the final determination of the ICRC.
MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, last week you called for applications for the 2013-14 environmental grant program. Could you please tell the Assembly about this program and its operation.
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Yes, the government is seeking expressions of interest—or, if you like, submissions—on applications for grants under the ACT’s environment grants program. This is an important program that supports on-the-ground activity to improve environmental outcomes here in the ACT. The grants have existed in one form or another since 1997 and are a very important way of supporting community-based activities to improve or protect the ACT’s natural environment.
Applications are now open to individuals, to community groups and to not-for-profit or private organisations to seek grant funding so that they can undertake important projects that assist in the protection, the restoration or the enhancement of the ACT’s natural environment. We have seen a broad range of groups in the past supported through this program, many of them grassroots, community-based organisations who do excellent work in protecting, restoring and enhancing our natural environment. I encourage everyone with an interest in the grants program to make an application. They close on Friday, 17 May.