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Australian Federal and State Budgets – An Overview

11

NSW General Government Sector Net Debt: 2000-01 to 2008-0948

billions of dollars

2000-

2001-

2002-

2003-

2004-

2005-

2006-

2007-

2008-

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0

2000-01

2.7%

2001-02

2%

2002-03

1.2%

2003-04

0.9%

2004-05

0.8%

2005-06

0.4%

2006-07

1%

2007-08

1.4%

2008-09

1.6%

NSW Government Sector Net Debt (as a Ratio of Gross State Product): 2000-01 to 2008-09 49

5

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT BUDGETS

In 1992 the Victorian Liberal Party (led by Jeff Kennett) came to office partly on the basis of a commitment to drastically reduce government debt, which had then reached a figure of over $16 billion. Kennett subsequently embarked on a three- year medium term fiscal strategy, the aim of which was to achieve balance in the state budget by financial year 1995-96.50 To achieve his objectives, Kennett began a major sell-off of publicly owned enterprises (specifically the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and the TAB). By financial year 1998-99, the Kennett government had delivered four consecutive budget surpluses and general government sector net debt had fallen to $4.8 billion. 51

48

NSW Treasury, Budget Statement: 2008-09, Budget Paper No.2, p.2-17; Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, ABS Catalogue 5220.0 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, 2009), p.14.

49

NSW Treasury, Budget Statement: 2008-09, Budget Paper No.2, p.2-17

50

Carne, n.21, p.115.

51

David Hayward, “”A Financial Revolution?’: The Politics of the State Budget” and Alistair Harkness, “Prognosis Negative: Health Care Economics and the Kennett Government” in Brian Costar and Nick Economou (eds.), The Kennett Revolution (University of NSW Press,

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