Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 68 ..
MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mr Speaker. In evaluations carried out by the Government of the possible sale of public assets, what value will be placed on each dollar of salary and wages that might potentially be lost from the economy, and how is the flowthrough of such losses, or economic multiplier, factored into the Government's decision-making?
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I have to say with regard to the two entities that are currently being looked at by the ACT Government - ACTEW and ACTTAB - that members will be aware that we are expecting, hopefully tomorrow or the next day, the Fay Richwhite report to be available and therefore tabled in this place, looking at options for ACTEW or the future for ACTEW in a deregulated market. Mr Speaker, I think it is really important to say - - -
Mr Berry: I did not really ask that question, Mr Speaker. I asked a question about economic multipliers and the value to be placed on each dollar of salary and wages that might be lost.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, what I am answering is exactly that question. Although Mr Berry did have to read it - because I am sure that he is not sure what he just asked - the thing that is most important here is to determine whether jobs will be lost as a result of doing nothing. That is a question that those opposite need to ask when they assess their policy on this. I wonder how, when they determined that they will oppose privatisation no matter what, they assessed what will happen to the jobs lost.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, that is not the question that I asked. I asked the Chief Minister whether there had been an assessment done in respect of the value to be placed on each dollar. In her rude response, she has failed dismally to answer that question. I would ask that you direct her to answer the question.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, there is no point of order. I cannot direct people to answer the questions in the way that you people might like them to be answered. The Chief Minister is answering the question.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I was just trying to say where we are up to in the areas of both ACTEW and ACTTAB. With ACTTAB, we currently have consultants - PKF Consulting Australia - being commissioned to undertake a detailed review - - -
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I am fully aware of that. Mr Speaker, this is a point of order raised pursuant to standing order 118. I know that there were certain standards set in the last Assembly, Mr Speaker; but what I would ask you to do is to have the Chief Minister be concise and confine her answer to the subject matter of the question. The question goes to the issue of how much value will be placed on each dollar of salary and wages that might potentially be lost; whether that has been surveyed by the Government; and how the flowthrough of such losses, or economic multiplier, is factored into the Government's decision-making. If they have done nothing, then she should tell us that.