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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 3973..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

investment strategy, particularly where, in almost every instance we are talking about superannuation funds, is the fact that the most significant driver is to invest in the safest way or at an appropriate level of risk—investment that will return, in that circumstance, a strong, safe return for those on whose behalf the funds are invested. That is the position this government has taken, it is the position which the last government took and it is the position which the government before that took. In the context of a broad question around ethical investments, we need some parameters around the particular ethical framework that we have under consideration.

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Has the Treasurer or Treasury investigated the returns from ethical investment funds which invest in ecologically sustainable industry, or looked into investing in social housing in the ACT?

MR STANHOPE: The attitude the ACT government Treasury currently takes, most particularly in relation to investments, is not to direct any investments into any specific source or fund. We have a range of investments. Some of them are direct, but the majority of our investments are managed by funds managers.

We have an open process in relation to the engagement of funds managers. Treasury currently has very much a hands-off approach to investments. I would have to take the specifics of the question on notice. I think the answer is almost certainly no, but I would have to confirm that.

The underlying policy position Treasury adopts in relation to investments is to appoint managers, experts, and to leave the decisions around the range and nature of investments to the funds managers. I need to ensure that the answer I gave, which I am almost certain is no, is in fact correct. I will confirm that for you.

Emergency services—firelink system

MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, we have reports that the expensive firelink system failed in a recent trial at Tharwa. Indeed, one of the ACT's most experienced bushfire brigade captains described it as "a nightmare and a waste of money".

Your government said in 2003 that a single select tender was the only justified option because you said there was an urgency to deliver a digital data operational system by no later than bushfire season 2004-05. How has that single select tender delivered value for the territory when it is two bushfire seasons late in being fully introduced to service, has cost 40 per cent more than the original tendered costing, does not work in the field and the brigades find it a nightmare to operate?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Pratt for the question. Firelink does work. It is operational currently in RFS and SES. It does work and it is an excellent piece of technology. It provides our emergency services with the ability to locate vehicles in the field, to know where their resources are and to be able to deploy them effectively and most efficiently.


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