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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 103 ..

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Territory finances

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.02): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes regarding the state of the Territory’s finances:

(a) over the last eight years, revenue has increased by 43 percent but expenses have increased by 61 percent;

(b) the operating balance in 2015-16 was a deficit of $373 million;

(c) the operating balance has been in deficit since 2011-12;

(d) the Territory was a net borrower of $631 million in 2015-16; and

(e) the Territory has been a net borrower since 2008-09; and

(2) calls on the Government to provide to the Assembly by the last sitting day of this year:

(a) the Government’s fiscal strategy;

(b) the year in which the Territory’s net borrowing will cease; and

(c) the year in which the Territory’s UPF net operating balance will be in surplus.

This is a government with very poor form when it comes to the management of the territory’s budget. The ACT Labor government, like pretty much every Labor government in the country, overpromises and underdelivers. It is a government that loves to promise grandiose schemes, loves to talk about the vision of the month, but in reality very few of these are actually ever realised.

To understand the state of the territory’s finances, the numbers that matter are not necessarily the ones that the government likes to talk about and they are not the ones that are often in the wishful thinking of the annual budget statement. It is, in fact, the ones in the consolidated annual financial statements, which are audited by the Auditor-General. These are the ones that this place should be focused on in particular.

They are the results for the whole of territory government contained in the operating statement which is presented on the first two pages of the audited financial statements. It looks at the whole of the territory, including general government services and public trading enterprises such Icon and the LDA.

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