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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 6 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2081..


not come into the consideration when we are looking at further expansion. Obviously, they are big assets for the government as well, and we acknowledge that.

What I am saying to you is that, in terms of projecting forward in some of the costs in terms of capital outlays and recurrent costs that Ms Burch has drawn to your attention, they are costs that we have to take into consideration, notwithstanding the positive impact that may have on the balance sheet in the end. Certainly, the recent decisions of cabinet in relation to the intentional community and some of the feasibility work that Ms Burch will lead have not been based on whether or not they are good for the balance sheet in the end. They are around our capacity to deliver and our capacity to afford the recurrent ongoing costs of providing that. It is like every other area of government in that sense, where we are deliberating on what are the right decisions to take, when should the right decisions be taken, how much it is going to cost us and what impact that has on our operating result.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Could you explain how the $41/2 billion in public housing assets affects the government's balance sheet and net worth and the importance of this in maintaining our credit rating.

MS GALLAGHER: Standard & Poor's look at all aspects of the government's assets and our liabilities when determining our credit rating. There is a very clear acknowledgement in the latest report by Standard & Poor's, which is available for everybody to read, that they think that the ACT has a very strong balance sheet. That certainly provides us with some capacity to do other things, such as borrow and maintain our AAA credit rating. We understand all that. I guess that there are some other deliberations that the government has to take into consideration: what are the other pressures that the government has got facing it; what are the other priorities the government has? Housing is one thing, but there is a whole range of other costs and priorities for the government. In a way, some of the decisions we take are a balancing act of all of those priorities.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake, any work to investigate methods of investing ACT superannuation funds in public housing?

MS GALLAGHER: There is a live debate going on amongst members of the Assembly around the government's investment, our investment practices, and, I guess, some of the areas that the government has shares and investments in. I think there will be some further discussion, particularly with the new Treasurer, in leading some work around that and the government's response to it.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.


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