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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1708 ..

Of that amount, $40.000m will be retained by the Superannuation Provision as funding of the accruing liabilities.

The Government has made great play about the agencies contributing their entire costs for superannuation but at the same time has ensured that there is a great deal of leakage. A substantial amount was kept in the provision fund. Budget Paper No. 3 states:

retention within the Superannuation Provision of a substantial component of the payments by budget-funded agencies ($40m in 1998-99).

Less than half went into the superannuation provision account, and the Government seems to be wandering around without any particular knowledge of the right figure to seize upon in relation to the funding of the annual emerging liability. Let us also look at the Government's position on the level of funding. When pressed, the best the Under Treasurer could tell us was that it was less than 100 per cent.

That is not a good enough measure by any account. I think the Government's response to the Estimates Committee is a bit weak in that respect. The community are entitled to know the appropriate figure that ought to be put aside to deal with the annual emerging liability. The Government goes on to praise itself, which you would expect, and say in its response to the Estimates Committee report:

The total budget funding to the Superannuation Provision for 1998-99 of $60.063m, rising to $100.638m in 2001-2002 ... is significantly greater than the commitment by any previous Government.

Most of all, it is greater than the commitment of the last Liberal Government. There was a very poor effort by the last Liberal Government in dealing with this issue. Indeed, last time, the Chief Minister gave as an excuse that she would only put real money into the superannuation provision fund. This year she has apparently found some real money. I do not think it is any different from the real money she could not find last time, but it still must be real money. In screening these things, we have to force the Government to be honest and straightforward and not to seize upon those unfunded liabilities. They are just using the unfunded liabilities to try to make employees feel like what Mr Hird described the arts community as. Mr Hird described them as leeches. It is outrageous to try to make the people who - - -

Mr Hird: I take a point of order. I hate to interrupt my colleague. The point of order is that I did not and would not identify the arts institution as a pack of leeches. Mr Berry identified them as leeches and I would ask you to ask him to withdraw that, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. Mr Berry, stop being provocative and let us get on with passing this budget.

MR BERRY: You have to get to the heart of the issue.

MR SPEAKER: That will be the day.

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