Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1463..

MR SPEAKER: That is five questions.

MR STANHOPE: Did you only count five? I am not a walking computer or encyclopaedia. I cannot possibly answer when, what date and which minute. I can roughly answer yes, no; yes, no; yes, no in one or other of those orders, but I am not quite sure which they are. To ask me when did I receive a report; have I read it; on which day did I read it; if I have not read it, why not—

Mr Smyth: Have you read it? Let's do the easy question first.

MR STANHOPE: No. In the context of the way in which your rabbits, in the main, are responsible for a question like that—

Ms MacDonald: Did he go to New York to get the question?

MR STANHOPE: That is right. The question is straight out of New York. This was the first leg of the study tour. I must say that we have not yet had revealed to us anything that could not have been answered by Standard and Poor's by telephone. Nevertheless, I guess it is probably on the way.

Mr Seselja: So you haven't read it.

MR STANHOPE: Actually, I have, but I am not going to get into this game of when did you read it; if you have not, why not; which of your officials have spoken to Standard and Poor's; if they did, when did they; if they did not, why not. I will take the question on notice.

MR MULCAHY: Thank you, Treasurer. My supplementary question is: why have you implied that the ACT's AAA credit rating is not at risk when the S and P report clearly contradicts you by warning that the weakening operating position is putting the ACT's credit rating at risk?

MR STANHOPE: I do not recall ever suggesting that the ACT's AAA credit rating was not at risk. This is the nature of these false assumptions in questions—

Mr Mulcahy: You remembered it this morning.

MR STANHOPE: No, I did not. To date we have a AAA credit rating. You cannot get better. We have a AAA credit rating today. That is the rating which we have achieved as a result of four consecutive surplus budgets.

This morning I did not say that our AAA credit rating was not at risk; today I said that to date we have had, in government, through four surplus budgets which have accumulated surpluses of over $250 million, the support of the credit rating agencies. And we have. How does a credit rating agency express its support for a government? It expresses its support through the granting of a AAA credit rating. What is our credit rating? Our credit rating is AAA. You cannot get better. That is a reflection of the fact, amongst others, that we have had four consecutive surplus budgets; we have accumulated surpluses of over $250 million; we have the strongest, with the exception of perhaps one other

Next page . . . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search