Australian Federal and State Budgets – An Overview
Queensland Government Sector Net Debt (as a Ratio of Gross State Product): 2000-01 to 2008-09 62
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BUDGETS
In 1993 Lyn Arnold’s ALP state government, in collaboration with Paul Keating’s federal government, began the implementation of a debt management strategy following the 1991 collapse of the State Bank of South Australia. After gaining office in the state elections at the end of 1993, Dean Brown’s Liberal Party state government introduced a 4-year medium strategy which included the objectives of a budget surplus as well debt reduction. This stance was maintained by successive Liberal Party governments led by John Olsen (1996-2001) and Rob Kerin (2001- 2002).63 Following its win in the 2002 state election, Mike Rann’s ALP government proceeded to obtain passage of the Public Finance and Audit (Honesty and Accountability in Government) Amendment Act 2002. This required the South Australian state government to introduce a Charter of Budget Honesty (reminiscent of the Howard government’s 1998 legislation). Mike Rann’s first budget was prepared on the basis of the Charter, having the aim of laying the basis both for budget surpluses and for the reduction of debt. 64
Until 2008, when the global financial crisis developed, Rann was able both to keep the budget in surplus and maintain a relatively low level of general government sector net debt. By 2009, however, the South Australian budget was over $200 million in deficit, and general government sector net debt was around 0.6% of gross state product, as illustrated in the accompanying graphs and table:
Queensland Treasury, State Budget 2008-09, Budget Paper No.2, p.168; Queensland Treasury, State Budget 2009-10, Budget Paper No.2, p.184; Queensland Treasury, State Budget 2009-10, Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review, p.8; Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts 2008-09, catalogue no.5220.0, p.14.
Carne, n.21, pp.127-128.
Carne, n.21, p.130.