Page 1491 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2016

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MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, could you repeat the question. I really did not hear what you had to say.

MR HANSON: Sure, Madam Speaker. Have you raised any concerns with the Chief Minister about the lack of consultation about this agreement?

DR BOURKE: I reject the premise of the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, why is it that the CFMEU is better informed about this MOU than the minister for small business?

DR BOURKE: I understand that is a question for the CFMEU, isn’t it?

Federal government—budget

MR HINDER: My question is for the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer inform the Assembly how the federal budget handed down last night will affect Canberra?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Hinder for the question. I can say, starting on a positive note, that the government was very pleased to see in the correspondence to me from the Prime Minister and the Treasurer that there will be an extra $7 million towards the light rail project, confirming now the commonwealth’s support for that project to the tune of $67 million.

That, combined with the proceeds of the asset sales undertaken as part of the asset recycling initiative, ensures that the ACT government will be able to make its capital contribution of $375 million. So more than half of the light rail project, stage 1, is already paid for through the ACT government contribution, and now the extra money from the commonwealth. That was a pleasing element of last night’s budget.

Disappointingly though, Madam Speaker, Canberra has been asked once again to carry a disproportionate share of the burden. We are seeing both in terms of the further efficiency dividend and then the $2 billion in cuts that are in there under the column “decisions taken but not yet announced” that there is a considerable downside for the territory as a result of last night’s federal budget.

We are particularly concerned, as we have been discussing in this place today, about the impact on the national cultural institutions, which were exempted from previous efficiency dividends under the federal Labor government. So it is disappointing to see that there are 60 positions going between the National Gallery, the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Library and a further three positions being lost from the National Portrait Gallery.

These are small institutions that play an important role in Canberra’s cultural tourism sector. So it is disappointing to see, at a time when we want them firing up for tourism, that in fact they are being told by their federal Liberal masters to fire people.

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