Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 November 2014) . . Page.. 3978 ..
As I mentioned, there are a number of preschool sites. We found in the feedback from families that they were very keen to keep the connection between the preschool site that they have known over the last few years and for that to be maintained. That is why Mount Neighbour, Neville Bonner, Evatt, Namadgi, Weetangera, Gilmore and Flynn preschools, and Charles Conder and Scullin, will all be opened. We as a government, and the Education and Training Directorate, through arrangements with those providers, will make that space available to children and Canberra families.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the government’s superannuation liability of $7.6 billion makes up 61.4 per cent of the territory’s total liabilities. Does the government intend to decrease the level of its superannuation liability?
MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, can you repeat the question, please, Mr Smyth?
MR SMYTH: Certainly, Madam Speaker. The government’s superannuation liability of $7.6 billion makes up 61 per cent of the territory’s total liabilities. Does the government intend to decrease the level of its superannuation liability?
Dr Bourke: On a point of order, the question seems to be asking the minister to announce policy in that this is an action for the future rather than something that has actually happened.
MADAM SPEAKER: That was why I asked Mr Smyth to repeat the question—I thought that he had said something else—but I would think that a question about whether the government intends to decrease the expenditure on anything or a particular liability is not necessarily a policy initiative. I will allow the question. That was why I asked him to repeat it, because I was uncertain at first.
MR BARR: The value of the liability is subject to a number of factors of variance, including, obviously, the number of people that we employ, the extent of their particular superannuation entitlements, the projections in relation to when people will seek to access those superannuation entitlements.
The government did, in 2006, make a change in relation to the level of superannuation contribution that we would make and brought the territory government’s superannuation contributions in line, broadly speaking, with other states and territories. That did have the impact of reducing the liability over the longer term.
The question of that liability level into the future will be subject, of course, to what happens to both the employment profile within the ACT public service but also the application of the discount rate against the prevailing interest rate. Of course, it is a long-term liability. So it is valued against a long-term benchmark of the commonwealth bond rate. However, at this point in time, with interest rates lower, that is increasing the value of the liability. Were interest rates to rise in the future, the value of the liability would fall.