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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 September 2017) . . Page.. 3596 ..


finance in the future but the commentary in the S&P report, which Mr Coe has not been able to refute today.

Let me just reiterate this by quoting Standard & Poor’s. They said that the ACT’s financial management:

… compares favorably to domestic and international peers. It has successfully addressed a number of challenges, including the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, and Commonwealth government fiscal consolidation. It is also addressing the substantial costs involved in remediating asbestos issues in private dwellings within budget. Further, it is reforming its tax system toward a more stable income source and away from volatile conveyance duties.

That is the approach that the government has taken.

There were alternatives to this path. In October last year, the Liberal Party bundled up their low doc, junk policies and took them to the market. But no-one was buying their junk policies, not only because many of the policies were worthless but because it would have put at risk the strong credit rating of the ACT government.

The question for the opposition leader is: will we see the junk policies return from the dead this term in a sub-prime opposition, committing again to tearing up contracts, threatening jobs and dampening investment confidence, with the potential for higher borrowing rates and diving demand in the ACT economy affecting local businesses? And there is the weak advocacy from those opposite that continues to see their Liberal colleagues on the hill tearing away at the contribution that the commonwealth and its agencies make to our ACT economy and the state final demand that Mr Coe placed so much emphasis on in his contribution today.

But the worst charge of all that can be levelled against the opposition is that they just have a pure lack of policy ambition, particularly to invest in productive infrastructure—and public transport in particular. You may remember that at the election last year they promised they would get to surplus more quickly. They wanted to run up surpluses for the sake of it, with no real plans to invest in our community, which is also important for economic growth. You have to ask: what is it exactly that they would have to have done to achieve surplus more quickly? You can only come to the conclusion that they would have done what Liberals have done all around the country: cut ACT government services to the bone.

It is very clear from the Standard & Poor’s report that the ACT government has strong fiscal management. And our strong fiscal management is delivering social and economic benefits for the Canberra community. The ACT Labor government went to the last election with a positive plan to renew our schools, hospitals, transport infrastructure and neighbourhoods, and we are delivering these commitments, all the while returning our budget to balance and maintaining our world-leading credit rating.

Our commitment to strong fiscal management means that we can invest in the infrastructure our growing city needs, and deliver policies and programs that work to foster inclusion and support the most vulnerable in our community. Our investments


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