Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2435 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
The Office of Financial Management has produced some figures, but let me tell you that the figures and the models that it has issued - they have been published and they were in last Saturday's Canberra Times - are not nearly as sophisticated as the models we are capable of producing in my office, and we do not feel happy yet that we have a clear picture of all of the options and what is the optimum process for addressing superannuation. But it is not just a simple yes or no. Let me tell you that much. I, for one, would really like the opportunity, as a member of this Assembly, with meagre resources, to be able to go to an inquiry and to ask OFM to modify their models and to include in their models the consequences of various decisions and to give us that information so that I am capable of knowing what is the optimum decision to be taken. We have looked at it in our office. We have done our best. We have worked on it probably far more than any other member of this Assembly. We are still working on that model and we are still unsure of some of the variables.
We cannot take the Government's word on face value because they have a predetermined decision. I agree with Mr Humphries. They are not going to change their mind. I would like more information. I would like to be able to address OFM. They have a lot more resources than I have. (Extension of time granted) There are very complex issues in the great argument that underlies the sale of ACTEW, and that is how we address superannuation, and they have not been addressed in this place. They have not been communicated in full. What we have seen is based more on assertion than it has been on full detail. Forgetting the political affiliations that I have, I must say that I need further information to be convinced on the whole question. I reassert my sympathy for the crossbenchers who have limited information. Yes, they are getting misinformation. We have seen some Oscar-winning performances in the misinformation stakes from the Chief Minister. We have put forward one side of an argument. That is what we are responsible for, for God's sake. We get misinformation from that side. We are told, "It will all be good", and then we cannot counterbalance that argument without being accused of providing misinformation. What bleeding nonsense.
I believe that this Assembly does not have much choice in the decision as to whether it has an inquiry or not because we are talking about the sale of the biggest business in town, and we have no information as to the flow-on impact for our economy overall. We are responsible to the people of Canberra in this decision. If we take this decision on the word of a few, without information and masked by secret consultants' business, we are not exercising our responsibility to the electorate of the ACT. This particular select committee is a must.
MR OSBORNE (12.19): Mr Speaker, I will be brief. There is no issue in Australian politics, I do not think, which has been more discussed and debated in Australia recently than the privatisation of public assets. If the principles involved are not well understood by now, then I guess they never will be. When the Government's legislation comes along both Mr Rugendyke and I will have to make up our minds. However, I do not feel that that decision will be helped one iota by yet another inquiry.
I would sincerely like to thank Ms Tucker for her concern for my colleague and I, as I heard this morning on the radio, as we consider the proposed sale of ACTEW; but I remind her of the words of one of her Federal colleagues, Senator Bob Brown,