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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1709 ..

MR BERRY: You have to get to the heart of the issue, which is the general philosophy of this lot opposite when they deal with the community and workers in the Public Service. What they have attempted to do with these big numbers is make ordinary public servants feel guilty about their - - -

Mr Hird: Leeches - is that what you are saying, Wayne?

MR BERRY: You are the one who said that the arts community were leeches.

Mr Hird: I did not say that at all.

MR BERRY: Yes, you did. You said they were leeches. It was in the newspaper.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, we are discussing the Superannuation and Insurance Provision Unit.

MR BERRY: Many of your constituents who live out in Belconnen are not very happy about that description.

MR SPEAKER: I find it very difficult to stretch the imagination to involve the arts community. Please get on with it.

MR BERRY: They are not very happy about that description and they - - -

MR SPEAKER: And I am not very happy about you not addressing Part 7.

MR BERRY: I happen to be addressing the Government's response to the Estimates Committee. I am sure you are happier now that I have told you that, Mr Speaker. The Government's response still does not tell us what they think is an appropriate figure. So far as we can make out, it is something less than 100 per cent. If that is the sort of understanding of the budget process that we get from this Government, then I think we have a long way to go before we get budget clarity and a commitment from the Government to ensure that the community is well informed about the Government's intentions.

Just to say that it is doing more than any other government is not much of a recommendation. It certainly could not do any worse than the last Carnell Government in relation to superannuation, but we need more clarity and we need a better understanding of the funding levels which ought to be provided. We certainly need to understand how these leakages are created and what formula is used to create these leakages from the superannuation payments by agencies that go into the provision fund.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (9.47): Mr Speaker, I would just like Mr Berry to reread our answer to recommendation 9, which explains this whole issue in depth. It is unfortunate that Mr Berry, even after estimates and our response, still does not understand it.

MR SPEAKER: Bless you for your brevity, Chief Minister.

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