Page 2509 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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Tuggeranong, which will be no doubt very warmly received by the Tuggeranong community, the construction of the new fire station, for example, at Tuggeranong and the new CIT that will be built in Tuggeranong as well.

But it is a balancing act and some of the demands for infrastructure dollars do go to those new areas where new schools are required, where roads and parks are required. I think the balance for us is getting it right and, again, any objective analysis of the budget will show that we have done that and taken decisions in the interests of the entire ACT community.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Smyth, could I just again draw members’ attention to the level—this was not an interjection—of general conversation. There was not one person in this chamber, except for me and perhaps Mr Rattenbury, listening to the Chief Minister. It was highly discourteous.

ACTEW Corporation Ltd—dividend payments

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on 1 July 2013 in relation to the impact of the reduced ACTEW dividend on the budget position you stated:

Early indications are that it will be in the order of about a $20 million to $25 million adjustment.

Treasurer, when will you provide updated budget estimates given the reduction in the ACTEW dividend?

MR BARR: The usual practice is to update the budget as part of the midyear review. There are a number of variables that impact on the budget over the course of the fiscal year. I can advise members that, following the economic statement issued by the commonwealth government last week, there was an upwards revision of the GST pool, and the territory stands to benefit by something in the order of about $70 million over the forward estimates from that upward revision in the GST pool. So you have over the course of a fiscal year some variation in a variety of revenue lines.

The government updates its forecasts, its forward estimates, during the midyear review and during the budget process. Information that has come to light since budget day is that, for the next two years we would anticipate a reduced dividend from ACTEW. There is a further pricing determination to be made that would impact on the final two outyears of this budget cycle, but we have also had another update in relation to the GST that presents a more positive story in relation to revenues flowing to the territory. Overall, the government will proceed with the passage of the budget and the debate of the budget next week and we will update the forward estimates accordingly with the midyear update.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, why should the Assembly debate a budget that we now know has incorrect figures in it?

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