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Budget Paper No.2 Fiscal and Economic Outlook 2008-2009



Budget Paper No.2 Fiscal and Economic Outlook 2008-2009

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Tabled paper 1293


Tabled papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled By Delia Lawrie


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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57 Infrastructure The Infrastructure Working Group will ensure better coordination of infrastructure planning and investment. In 2008, a national infrastructure audit will be undertaken to develop a list of priority infrastructure that is required to improve national productivity. Business Regulation and Competition The Business Regulation and Competition Working Group is responsible for accelerating and broadening the regulation reduction agenda, improving processes for regulation and review, and delivering significant improvements in Australias competition, productivity and international competitiveness. Housing The Housing Working Group will examine ways to improve housing affordability and ease rental stress in Australia. The working group will examine key housing initiatives that will: facilitate improved housing supply through release of surplus government land; provide incentives to build affordable housing; and increase the number of homes for homeless people. Indigenous Reform The Indigenous Reform Working Group is responsible for developing strategies to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, in particular, closing the life expectancy gap within a generation and halving the gaps in child mortality rates, reading, writing and numeracy outcomes and Indigenous employment outcomes within a decade. Additional targets include providing all four-year olds in remote communities with access to early childhood education within five years, and halving the gap for year 12 (or equivalent) attainment by 2020. The working group will develop action plans in the areas of health, education, affordable housing and water supply in the bid to improve the welfare of Indigenous Australians. Early reforms will target reducing the number of Indigenous people on elective surgery waiting lists and those who are homeless, and provide 48 000 dental services for Indigenous Australians over four years. In 2008, the working group will develop reform proposals on Indigenous early childhood development, protective security from violence for Indigenous parents and children, remote service delivery and workforce planning, economic participation and active welfare. Reform of Commonwealth-State Financial Relations Underpinning the COAG agenda is a reform of the architecture of CommonwealthState financial relations. The changes to the intergovernmental financial arrangements were largely driven by state concerns regarding the structure of the current SPP arrangements. States have consistently argued that the current SPP arrangements lead to inefficiencies, including duplication of functions at both levels of government, distortion of services and reduced state budget flexibility by limiting states ability to increase funding in other priority areas. The centrepiece of the new arrangements will be a clear statement of the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and the states. This will result in reduced duplication and waste and enhance accountability to the community. Furthermore, SPPs will focus on outcomes and outputs rather than include stringent input controls on how states deliver and/or fund services. As a result, states will have greater flexibility to tailor services to meet individual community needs.