By ERWIN CHLANDA
“With the reduction in revenue already mentioned and a declining economy, we need to slow our rate of expenditure,” says Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured), partly answering questions from the Alice Springs News Online.
“But we will NOT make any changes without first talking to industry and coming up with a smart plan to be more efficient, create local jobs and fix our budget.”
Minister Manison says the Labor Government “inherited a declining economy with an extremely challenging set of economic circumstances and no plan by the previous Government for the Inpex wind down.
“The interim independent report I requested and that was released on Friday will help us drive a sensible plan to budget repair and make sure we deliver on what is a very bright future for the NT.”
She says the report – whose author remains confidential – confirms:
• A declining economy post Inpex with no plan by the previous CLP Government to fix it.
• Significant GST reduction – $500m annual drop in GST revenues remains the main issue we face along with a slowing economy and increased demand for government services.
• Increasing long-term demands on Government expenditure (health, youth justice and child protection, police).
Minister Manison says: “We will NOT do is take the CLP approach of sacking teachers and nurses, selling Government assets (like TIO) and hiking up the price of power by 30%.
“We will be smarter than their slash and burn approach and we will focus on creating jobs.
“We need to get the best value for every dollar we spend and we need to create local jobs. We also need to ensure the Commonwealth Government are on board and understand our challenges so we can get the best deal for the NT.”
Ms Manison says she will be meeting with Shadow Treasurer tomorrow in Adelaide and Federal Treasurer on Wednesday in Melbourne “to explain the findings of the report and keep fighting for a better deal for the Territory”.
We asked Minister Manison yesterday:-
What is the collateral the NT Government is borrowing against?
What is the amount borrowed at present?
What is the interest rate?
What are the banks?
What credit rating does the NT Government have at present?
What impact on the rating is the current crisis likely to have, in your opinion?
What requests are you going to make from Canberra?
By ERWIN CHLANDA