Sir – The Gunner Government has reactively admitted that it is plunging the Territory into hundreds of millions of dollars of extra debt. Yet in line with the Chief Minister’s secretive attitude, questions remain over what our actual fiscal and debt position is.
In answers provided to questions asked by the Opposition during the last special Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing, the Gunner Government stated: “T-Corp has undertaken further borrowings of about $600m in May and June 2020. This will be applied to the 2020-21 borrowing program.”
It further stated in response to other questions: “Department of Treasury and Finance have estimated that there will be $109m in forgone revenue.”
The Government also stated it hasn’t accessed the contingency funding it passed through the Parliament in March: “The 2020 Supply Bill has been passed with a provision for $300m contingency to respond to COVID-19 for six months. These funds are yet to be accessed and remain available (if required) in full for emerging priorities in 2020-21.”
The full Opposition questions and answers are available here.
As we can see from the Gunner Government’s answers to Opposition questioning in the PAC, the Chief Minister is either being deliberately and irresponsibly confusing about the Territory’s budget position or he doesn’t even know what our position is, which is very worrying.