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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (17 November) . . Page.. 2561 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

So, Mr Speaker, there you have it - a drop of 13 per cent in electricity revenues compared to last year, a pre-tax operating profit that is significantly down on the same period in both 1997 and 1996, and more than 150 fewer jobs. And those opposite, who do not want to hear, say that I am scaremongering, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, those opposite obviously have no basis for the position that they have adopted. I can see that they just want to interject and, I suppose, be truly stupid on this issue because the figures are very clear. Mr Speaker, I do not know which is more scary - knowing that, unless something is done with ACTEW, these sorts of figures will continue, or watching members of the Labor Party simply stick their fingers in their ears and try to convince themselves that nothing is happening here. I think it is absolutely tragic that those opposite, because of an ideological approach to privatisation, are simply unwilling to listen to the realities.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I thank the Chief Minister, who is one of the major stakeholders of ACTEW Corporation. Chief Minister, what you are saying is that if we, as a responsible government, sit on our hands like the previous Government did on a number of issues then the community ultimately will pay for the loss of jobs and also for the loss of revenue by their privately owned company.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I make the point again. Here we have the figures for the first three months of this year showing a 13 per cent drop in electricity revenue compared to last year; a pre-tax operating profit significantly down, not just on last year, but on the year before as well; and 150 fewer jobs. If those opposite think that is a great outcome or something that somehow they could turn around, Mr Speaker, it is about time they said how they would do it. It is about time we heard, instead of just hearing whingeing from those opposite, how they would change these figures. Mr Speaker, the reality is that it can only be done by significant risk-taking with public money - something that this side of the house will not do.

Superannuation Liability

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister advise this Assembly which departmental chief executives have addressed their staff or their senior officers on the superannuation issue, and what did that brief include?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I understand that, in question time when I was away, there might have been a similar question from Mr Corbell with regard to departmental briefings on this issue. I have an answer to that question to table later. Mr Speaker, I understand that seminars have occurred, but not just on the issue of superannuation. It is a regular approach to ensure that senior managers are briefed on a number of issues of whole-of-government importance. I understand that things like the 1998-99 Territory budget outcomes, the proposed Commonwealth tax reforms, the Olympics, Canberra Olympic football events, equal opportunity and leadership in the workplace have been addressed in the past via seminars of senior people.

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