Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2684 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
... the approach that the ACT Government has taken to the management of superannuation liabilities has been an extremely responsible one.
An extremely responsible approach? They have got to be joking! Do you know what the Labor Party said between 1995 and 1997, Mr Speaker? They continued to claim that it was not a problem, that this Government was trying to scare Canberrans, and that was something that future governments needed to worry about, not this one. In fact, as I think we would all remember, the Auditor-General has raised the issue on a number of occasions. Suddenly, even Mr Stanhope and Mr Quinlan have finally realised - and Mr Stanhope reinforced it this morning - that there is a major problem with unfunded superannuation, despite the fact that, for six years, Labor has been telling Canberrans that there was nothing to worry about.
Mr Speaker, I am worried about this problem, and I hope all members of this Assembly are, because I do not want to be the Chief Minister who left behind a billion dollar problem for the next generation of Canberrans, knowing it would cripple our finances. I hope, Mr Speaker, that not one member of this Assembly wants to be part of an assembly that leaves that legacy. It is because we are the first government to actually think strategically that we decided to look at what we want to do with our superannuation problem, and the future of ACTEW itself, taking into account that those opposite have extremely ideological approaches to the whole situation. It is also why we have tried to engage in an open and honest debate, as demanded by Mr Stanhope.
Let us have a look at those opposite, Mr Speaker. Let us have a look at four of the six of those opposite - more than half, Mr Speaker. First of all, we have Mr Corbell. On 8 October - - -
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I did not hear Mr Hird asking Mrs Carnell to look at the four of us. I thought he had asked her a question about whether she had misled the ACT community. I would like her to answer that one.
MS CARNELL: That is not a point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.
MS CARNELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. We are talking about open and honest debates and, of course, the call from those opposite to have an open and honest debate. On 8 October, in an interview on ABC radio, Mr Corbell said that Sydney Water was a franchise and somehow tried to link this with our decision to franchise water and sewerage operations. Mr Speaker, what is the reality? Sydney Water is actually a corporation owned by the New South Wales Government. In the same interview, Mr Corbell said that ACTEW could compete effectively if the Government allowed it to and if the Government allowed it to borrow money. I have to say that, last time I checked, ACTEW was quite able to borrow money. But then, Mr Speaker, it was those opposite who opposed ACTEW's corporatisation, was it not, those opposite who are now saying that ACTEW's saviour is to have total flexibility - - -