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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2628..

MR MULCAHY (continuing):

struggle with the concept of discounting return on investment on the criteria that we are going to just spend the money in the ACT. The territory's—

Dr Foskey: A portion of.

MR MULCAHY: Well, even a proportion. I have seen this approach in other investment organisations I have been involved with where people rationalise on the basis that revenue may come out of a particular industry area and say, "We should lend the money back to people at cheaper rates."The fact of the matter is that the territory's Treasury investment advisers have an obligation to manage those investments prudently to generate the best possible return for the ACT taxpayer. If they do, we can help people in a broader sense by reducing the pressures on the government to increase taxes and charges. We should not be artificially subsidising industry or business by investment activities that are not generating the best possible return to the taxpayer.

I believe the same criteria must apply with ethical investments. I have heard the view from sections of the environmental lobby that we should be willing to get a poorer return on investments so that we can back some particular cause. You cannot take that approach with the investment of public funds or trustee funds. You have to get the maximum prudent return. That does not mean putting it in a country that has 32 per cent returns and 80 per cent inflation. That is not being smart with your investments. You need balanced investment strategies. They need to be at the best return possible, while at the same time ensuring that the level of security and long-term position of those investments is protected. To make it very clear, the Liberal opposition, as long as I have the role of shadow Treasurer, will always advocate the approach that I have outlined.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Part 1.7—Home Loan Portfolio—Nil expenditure.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 ad the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Planning—EpiCentre lease

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Planning and is in relation to the EpiCentre sale. Yesterday in the Assembly the minister tabled a letter from the Land Development Agency to ING. The letter was dated 6 October and referred to an inquiry the company had made over the EpiCentre site. The letter says:

The onus lies with the proponents to consider the provisions of the plan and to formulate their own conclusions.

In an email to a representative of Austexx on 17 November, ACTPLA said:

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