Page 2033 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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With regard to some of the specific items within the budget, federal revenue payments to the ACT are broadly in line with expectations, but as the Chief Minister has indicated, the commonwealth has revised down the GST pool from 2013-14 from $48.25 billion to $47.7 billion. This results in a reduction of GST payments to the ACT of around $15 million in the next fiscal year and an overall reduction of around $50 million in aggregate terms across the budget forward years. This unfortunately negates the increase in GST relativities that we received earlier this year. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Treasurer, how will the ACT government support the economy in light of the federal budget?

MR BARR: The government will, of course, work in partnership with the commonwealth government on a number of national partnerships. We are particularly pleased to see funding for the Canberra Hospital, for national partnerships for the social and community services sector around pay equity, also national partnerships on homelessness and early childhood education. The ACT government is very pleased to see funding from the commonwealth for the royal commission into sexual abuse. There are a number of other smaller specific commonwealth cash injections, particularly in relation to the Tuggeranong Parkway and democracy walk, where the ACT government will be undertaking complementary work. The government will, through its support for DisabilityCare, be providing additional resources in the disability sector. We also are focused on education, and we note the commitment of the commonwealth government in relation to Gonski reforms and look forward to a successful conclusion of negotiations on that matter.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, having been selective in your endorsement of the NDIS and the Gonski review, does the ACT government offer the same warm endorsement of the entire 2013-14 Labor federal budget?

MR BARR: The ACT government is certainly pleased with those key elements and the main focus of the federal budget. I think it was important for the commonwealth to outline a long-term funding plan for these two most critical areas of public policy.

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, Mr Smyth’s question directly related to those elements of the budget that excluded NDIS and Gonski. The minister is ignoring that element of the question and is reverting to NDIS and Gonski. I would ask him to be directly relevant to Mr Smyth’s question, which is about the broader budget and whether the ACT government provides warm support for it or not.

MADAM SPEAKER: The standing orders, Mr Barr, require you to be directly relevant to the question, which was: did you provide a general endorsement to the budget? Mr Barr.

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