Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2673 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
I thought that what we were going to see today from the Labor Party was a proposal for an inquiry into unfunded superannuation. I heard that from Mr Osborne. But we have here things such as the downstream economic impacts of the various options - not exactly anything to do with unfunded superannuation - and the inevitable "any other related matter", in other words, anything at all. It does not have to be related directly to superannuation or directly to ACTEW; basically, just related to something or other. Mr Deputy Speaker, let us get serious here. The ACT's unfunded superannuation liability currently represents about $2,500 of superannuation debt for every resident of the ACT. It is a deferred cost, deferred to another generation. Those opposite do not seem to care. Mr Stanhope in his speech just said, "It is not a real problem".
Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. That is not true. The Chief Minister is simply - - -
MS CARNELL: What did you say? Tell me what you said.
Mr Stanhope: What I did say was that everybody in this place and in the community acknowledges this as a significant problem. I said no such thing.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. Mr Stanhope, you have the right of reply.
MS CARNELL: Mr Deputy Speaker, what Mr Stanhope said was that no other government was panicking about this matter, going weak at the knees; in other words, he was suggesting that there really was no requirement to make the sort of commitment that this Government is making, that there are other options and we really do not have to worry too much. That is certainly what anybody would have thought from Mr Stanhope's speech. That is simply not the case, Mr Deputy Speaker.
Mr Stanhope: That is your interpretation. That is your spin, but it is not true.
MS CARNELL: Mr Deputy Speaker, I was absolutely quiet.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Indeed. Order!
Mr Stanhope: Yes, but I did not malign and misinterpret things that the Chief Minister said, Mr Deputy Speaker.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! If you wish to rise to your feet, you need to take a point of order and you have not given one to me.
MS CARNELL: It is true. Mr Deputy Speaker, at the moment the ACT taxpayers have an asset worth about $1 billion and an unfunded superannuation liability of about $700m. In other words, ACTEW is worth about $1 billion and our unfunded superannuation liability is about $700m. In a few years' time, if nothing is done, the $1 billion ACTEW asset will be worth, according to the information that we have, about $500m and our unfunded superannuation liability will be close to $1 billion.