Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 811..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
I appreciate the committee's report, inasmuch as it does not actually criticise Appropriation Bill (No 3). It placed some qualifications on how we might establish the office of sustainability, and the rest of it seemed to be issues outside the ambit of the appropriation bill.
Mr Humphries: It never stopped you before when you were chairing estimates committees!
MR QUINLAN: I did not stand up on a point of order, did I? I am addressing the main issues that you brought up, Mr Humphries. I am just pointing out that the bill stands apparently accepted by the committee, which I appreciate greatly. That is evidenced by the need to cast the net wider in an effort to turn one of these committee reports into a political document.
Mr Speaker, I record my gratitude to the committee for the support they have given the bill.
Sitting suspended from 12.10 pm to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Commission of Audit report-superannuation
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan. Treasurer, the Commission of Audit report that you tabled on 7 March this year predicted that, at the end of this financial year, the territory would break even on its superannuation investments. That, of course, was the principal basis on which the Commission of Audit predicted, on the then parameters, that, by the end of the financial year, there would be a loss of $5 million.
That was 7 March. Just three weeks later-on 28 March-you tabled your budget consultation document, in which you predicted that the territory would receive a return on its investments of almost $20 million. When did you become aware that the territory's predicted position had improved for the better?
MR QUINLAN: Around about that time, actually.
Mr Humphries: Can you be precise?
MR QUINLAN: No, I cannot recall precisely. If there is some sort of cunning trap laid there for me to fall into, I am sorry-I do not have enough information to tiptoe into it. I can recall having an aside conversation with Mr Ronaldson, the Under Treasurer, at the table. I said, "What is it today?" "Yes, tell them." That is the figure. As per a check at lunch-time today, the figure remains the same but will be reviewed, once the final wash-up for March comes through.
MR HUMPHRIES: Was the tentative, even sheepish, way in which you tabled the Commission of Audit report on 7 March a reflection of your knowledge, or at least your suspicion, on the basis of your advice, that, as a basic premise, a nil return on overseas investments was about to be knocked for six by a subsequent document?