Page 2888 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013

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2013-14 it is a reduction of 87 per cent. The estimate for 2015 is $68 million; the estimate for 2016 is $17 million; the estimate for 2017 is $59 million.

That shows the nature of the territory banking account quite clearly. For instance, we are yet to see the impact of the ICRC on the ACTEW dividend. So the cash that the government may end up with at the end of the financial year can still vary quite dramatically. If anybody thinks that the Treasurer has put away some money for a rainy day, the state of the territory banking account shows that that is not so.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (4.15): The government’s management of the territory bank account is an important component of the Treasury portfolio. Management of the territory banking account encompasses active investment in our portfolio of general government investment assets and borrowing liabilities, and centralised cash management. It seeks to ensure an appropriate rate of return on financial investments reflective of established risk tolerances.

The territory’s capital funding requirements are managed from the territory banking account through the issuance of fixed interest securities and short-term discount securities in the domestic capital markets.

I commend this appropriation to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.6—Health Directorate—$231,100,000 (net cost of outputs), $190,408,000 (capital injection) and $4,615,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $426,123,000.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.16): Just before I start on my prepared speech, I note that an issue that came up during the estimates committee work was the fact that we have got the Health Directorate and we have also got the ACT local hospital network. The issues are essentially together in one area, and it is something that I think we should—and I think the minister indicated some support for this—certainly for the purposes of the budget estimates process and the budget debate, just have the one area for discussion rather than discussion in two areas. The local hospital network is really something that is a construct that has been set up simply for funding streams as opposed to necessarily more substantial purposes.

Going through the estimates process, what struck me was that again in Health many of the conversations we had, many of the issues, were the same. I think there are some areas where good work is being done. But in many other areas we seem to be stuck in a rut with issues. But what I would like to do is commend the Health staff whom we have out there and who are working hard. I know it is a very difficult, complex area and it needs to be put on the record that the opposition is very supportive of our very hardworking Health staff.

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