Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2674 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Can anyone seriously suggest that we should stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this is not a real problem? Or worse, having recognised that it is a real problem, as Mr Stanhope says he has, is it okay to say, "That is for a future generation of Canberrans to worry about. We will be right. We will be collecting our healthy superannuation benefits while a new generation of taxpayers faces increased costs and reduced services to pay for it."? This Government does not accept that as an appropriate way to go. The Government might be persuaded to see a further examination of this problem, but we do wonder why it is necessary when the matter has already been rigorously researched and reviewed by the Government, most recently in the Towers Perrin report. The Auditor - - -
Mr Stanhope: How many options did they have? How many options did Towers Perrin have?
Mr Hird: I rise to a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I draw your attention to standing orders, in particular standing order 202. Standing order 202(a) relates to persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the Assembly. The Leader of the Opposition is doing that in respect of the Chief Minister's address. Standing order 202(b) relates to being guilty of disorderly conduct. The Leader of the Opposition is guilty of that.
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: It is a frivolous point of order.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I think the main point to consider is that this debate began in relative silence. Therefore, it ought to continue in that way which, in any event, is in accordance with the standing orders.
MS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker. By contrast the Opposition have said glib things like: "We should simply fund the liability over 40 years", but they have no idea where they would find the money to fund it. There is no new money. Mr Deputy Speaker, over the next 40 years the ACT Government will have to meet close to $3 billion in superannuation payouts just to members of the current CSS and PSS schemes - nearly $3 billion in today's dollars. So, when the Opposition blithely asserts that the solution to the superannuation problem is to manage it over 40 years, that is what they will have to find - $3 billion. And where will they find it? I have to say that they have no idea.
To put that into perspective, we raise just over $600m a year from taxes, fees and fines. So, that is five years' worth of taxes. That is a lot of money. Looking at it in another way, this year we will pay out $20m in superannuation benefits for emerging liability. In 20 years' time, we will have to find $120m just in benefits under the CSS and PSS schemes. That does not include new entrants to the Public Service from 1 July under the accumulated benefits scheme. That is an extra $100m, once again in today's dollars. That is not taking into account inflation factors; that is in today's dollars. Where would the Opposition find the money? The fact is that they have no idea.