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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2440 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

superannuation that all our public servants deserve. To say that you have done a good thing by building this up through the hard work of taxpayers and so therefore you should keep it, but at the same time say that you cannot allow the Government to fund the liability that comes back to all of us because all of us will be responsible for this, is naive.

On superannuation, Mr Quinlan misses the point, Mr Speaker. He says, "Who cares if it is $69m or $70m dollars?". That is not the point. The point is that the long-term problem is not the actuarial assessment, but the strategy to fund that debt. I note that, after repeated calls from the Government, the Labor Party, on every occasion, has failed to nominate how it would fund this debt.

Mr Speaker, this proposed inquiry runs the risk of becoming a privatisation Spanish Inquisition. It is a very broad inquiry that will not add much to the debate. What we are hearing here is that no matter how much change - - -

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think that to refer to an inquiry of this Assembly as a Spanish Inquisition is going a bit far. I think the Minister might withdraw that.

MR SMYTH: I will withdraw it if it has offended Mr Kaine.

Mr Kaine: It might be a Canberran inquisition but not a Spanish one.

MR SMYTH: It was perhaps a Monty Pythonish Spanish Inquisition rather than the historical one that I was referring to. What we are hearing here is that there should be no change, not now, not ever, and that is without regard for any changing circumstances, changing technologies, changing marketplaces, or the future world that we are growing into. For weeks we have been accused by the Labor Party of being the ideologues.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time for the debate has expired.

Motion (by Mr Moore) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent debate continuing until the resolution of any questions on Assembly business, Notice No. 1.

MR SMYTH: What we are hearing here, Mr Speaker, is that there should be no change - not now, not ever. From the Labor Party, without regard for circumstances, changing technologies, changing marketplaces, or a move to the future, we are hearing that things should not change. They have accused us for weeks of being the ideologues of privatisation. What we have across the chamber here, Mr Speaker, are the real ideologues of the Left in this place. They are, in fact, the true conservatives of this place. They do not want to change. They simply do not wish to change, ever. They wish to live in the past. They believe that if they stick their heads in the sand things will never have to change.

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