Page 78 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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Madam Assistant Speaker, section 18 of the Financial Management Act provides for the authorisation of expenditure from the Treasurer’s advance. This package includes one instrument providing an increase of $1.5 million in the capital injection, controlled, for the Community Services Directorate. This extends the credit facility agreement with Boundless Canberra Incorporated to continue the work of the boundless playground.

Additional details regarding all instruments are provided in the statement of reasons accompanying each of the instruments that I have tabled this afternoon. I commend them to the Assembly.

Budget review 2013-2014

Paper and statement by minister

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): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Budget 2013-2014—Budget review.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: I present to the Assembly the 2013-14 budget review prepared in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996. The review shows that the ACT budget remains in a strong position with a return to a balanced budget in the forward estimates. Economic conditions remain strong, although some have softened due to the uncertainty around the continuing contractions by the commonwealth government. This is also driven to some extent by ambiguity surrounding the outcomes of the National Commission of Audit, the recommendations of which are now expected to inform to some extent the commonwealth government’s 2014-15 budget to be delivered in May.

Economic growth is forecast to grow at a quarter of a per cent in 2013-14 as a result of the fiscal consolidation of the commonwealth government, as well as decreasing levels of investment activity. These factors, coupled with moderate private consumption, suggest that below trend growth will continue into the 2014-15 fiscal year.

There are some positive factors for the territory’s economic outlook, including population growth and record low interest rates. These factors combined are anticipated to lead to improved household consumption and housing demand in the longer term. However, in the short term, commonwealth job security is anticipated to see cautious consumer spending in Canberra.

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