Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1707 ..

Part 7 - Superannuation and Insurance Provision Unit

Proposed expenditure - Superannuation and Insurance Provision Unit, $20,063,000 (comprising payments on behalf of the Territory, $20,063,000)

MR QUINLAN (9.36): Mr Speaker, I have a couple of points to raise on this. I notice that there is an intention for a triennial review. We would be interested in information on that as soon as it might become available. As we are all aware, this is a very crucial element to the financing of the ACT overall. I would also like to know whether we can arrange for an actuarial study that tells us not just what the superannuation liability is going to be at any given time but what the lowest level it is going to fall to is so that we can look at the continuum and say, "There is a level we have to be concerned about but do not have to panic about". If we can see the pattern of - - -

Ms Carnell: It gets to about $125m in emerging liability.

MR QUINLAN: From where I stand, you could actually graph the demand upon that superannuation liability.

Ms Carnell: That is the emerging liability, when it gets to a top. It will not go above that.

MR QUINLAN: Yes. If we can graph the demand and at the same time graph the inflow, we can get some idea of how much our cash shortfall might be. If we could see that as a pattern, as a graph, then we could look at it and say, "Okay, there are some short-term measures you can take in financing where you have peaks and troughs relatively close to each other". We could get a real concept of the exposure and the risk to financing in the ACT and not be panicked by these gross figures. We could get an idea of our net exposure that we have. I think that is important if we are going to debate finance in the ACT. That very large liability hanging over us is going to be the base motivation for a lot of action. I would like to know exactly what we are talking about rather than just see big fearsome numbers coming forward. We need a proper perspective we can share so that if we ever get to cooperative, non-adversarial government we can work from the same base.

MR BERRY (9.39): I would like to support what my colleague has said. Much has been made of the unfunded liabilities which are declared in the budget papers at around $700m and which they talk about blowing out to $1,700m in the year 2013 and so on. There has been a lot of hyperbole about those figures. By themselves, they are fairly frightening figures. The end result is that it seems to me that the Government wants to make employees feel guilty that they have some sort of superannuation entitlement. That is an entitlement they have built up over years and which, in due course, they are entitled to receive the full benefits of.

Some other superannuation issues deserve attention. Let us take what was described in the Estimates Committee process as leakage from the returns from the various agencies for superannuation. Pressed, the Under Treasurer pointed to a leakage of about $44m from the $84m which was collected from the various agencies. The budget papers say at page 62:

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .