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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1233..

Commission of audit report-superannuation

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, earlier in question time Mrs Cross asked or read out a question in relation to the commission of audit report.

Mrs Cross: And you didn't have an answer to read out.

MR QUINLAN: No, I did not have an answer to read out. I refer to page 29 of that document, Mrs Cross, which you have obviously read assiduously. This is what that document says-here are the numbers. Originally it was budgeted that the government would receive $63 million in investment returns. As at 31 October the assessment was that the return, rather than being a positive 63, would be a negative 45. But the commission of audit made an assessment: "We think that things will improve"-a point that Mr Humphries has made-"so instead of a negative 45 return on investments we will incorporate into this an estimate of zero." Okay?

Mr Humphries: It's still too conservative.

MR QUINLAN: Right. As we speak the result is about a negative $20 million. So we still have a further $20 million to gain before we reach the level anticipated in here. I expect that that will happen. There is usually a little flurry at the end of a financial year as companies purchase investments and tidy up their balance sheets with their working capital. They neaten up. There is usually a little favourable upturn in those markets at the end of each financial year, so there is a good chance that we will get to the zero anticipated in this document. We may even do better; here is hoping we do. But at the present stage we are still $20 million behind the eight-ball.

Mrs Cross also asked about two methods. I think it is a bit of an overstatement to call these things methods. Are you referring to different times-the fact that we do quarterly assessments? We did an October assessment. Does anybody know exactly what the question was about?

Mrs Cross: I know what the question was about. You obviously didn't understand it so I can repeat it if you would like to hear it again.

MR QUINLAN: Yes, okay.

Mrs Cross: Is that acceptable, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: No it is not.

MR QUINLAN: Let me just say that there is in Mr Blessington's little report a reference to "You shouldn't have counted losses on superannuation because in every other year you didn't count them till December or you didn't have a tally up to December." Under my instruction, Treasury took stock at 30 October. So is this a change in method? No. It is just me asking for a stocktake at the end of government.

Mr Humphries: For what purpose?

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