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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2683 ..


MR SPEAKER: Order! Before I call Mr Hird, I inform members of the presence in the gallery of members of a parliamentary delegation from Nara's Legislative Assembly, led by Mr Horita, the director of the Construction Planning Division of the Assembly. On behalf of members, I bid them a warm welcome. I would also like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, Peter Christie. Welcome to your Assembly.


ACTEW - Sale

MR HIRD: My question is addressed to the Chief Minister. When the Government first announced its intentions to sell ACTEW's electrical services and franchise its water and sewerage operations, the Leader of the Opposition called for an open and honest debate. Earlier this month, Mr Stanhope accused the Government of misleading the community by what he called "scaremongering" about the ACT's unfunded superannuation liability. Chief Minister, has the Government attempted to mislead Canberrans in the debate over ACTEW?

MS CARNELL: Thank you for the question, Mr Hird. Mr Speaker, I will address my remarks through you, of course, unlike those opposite, but I think there may be some people listening to this debate outside this chamber who will be interested in what I have to say. This Government has been entirely up front in its approach to the debate over ACTEW's future. For a start, we commissioned separate reports by Fay Richwhite and ABN AMRO and released both of these studies publicly. We were the first government to commission a totally independent analysis of our unfunded superannuation liability and we released this report publicly.

Mr Corbell: Selectively.

MS CARNELL: And we have based our arguments on this information - on facts, not emotion and ideology.

Mr Corbell: Selective ideology.

MR SPEAKER: The collective ideology of this place may remove you if you continue to interject, Mr Corbell.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the Opposition claims that the unfunded superannuation liability is a bogeyman that we have conveniently wheeled out all of a sudden. I can recall sitting in this chamber back in, I think, 1994 when the Liberal Party was questioning the Labor Government about superannuation liability. So it is not something that has just come up recently. And do you know what Labor had to say then, Mr Speaker? Let me quote:

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