Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 18 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
all been. Now we have another tough year, but because we have not gone along with her, even before she puts the budget on the table, we are now being threatened. That is what that little speech was about. Mr Quinlan had the effrontery to differ with the Chief Minister, and therefore he will be attacked. Not only will the Chief Minister attack him but the boy sitting up the back, Mr Hird, will do so also. If she does not like what Mr Osborne says, she will attack him as well. Mr Speaker, that is not the sort of debate that I am interested in engaging in.
If the Chief Minister does not like this Assembly committee's report, she has only herself to blame. We could have been having a debate about the future of ACTEW and the problems of superannuation for nearly two years if the Chief Minister had come clean and put it on the table when she first had it on the table. She chose not to do that. She chose to shove it under the table and wait till she thought it was opportune to tie the two things together and say, "Boy, have I got a solution for you. We have this problem which I never told you about before, but it just so happens that I have this neat little solution to it as well". The solution is to sell ACTEW.
Last year we sold off a couple of buildings. The year before that we flogged off the vehicle fleet. If we succeed in getting rid of ACTEW this year to fill the black hole, the ever-increasing black hole in the Chief Minister and Treasurer's budget - I repeat that she has been there for four years now - I suppose next year ACTION and ACTTAB might bring a couple of bucks to tide us over for yet another year. I want to commend the committee for putting an alternative view and bringing different information to this Assembly, because the Chief Minister never would have. I remind the Chief Minister that over two months ago she sent the head of her Chief Minister's Department to ask me, "What information did you need about superannuation?" and I told him in great detail. What happened? I have never heard from him or the Chief Minister since. That is the Chief Minister's idea of conducting a public debate and making sure that everybody is informed.
This report at least raises questions about the veracity of the information that the Chief Minister has been putting on the table. If there is anybody on the government benches who is going to say that putting an alternative view in this place is inappropriate, let them stand up and say it. They are implying that nobody anywhere else but on the government benches dares put up a counter-proposal, dares disagree with what the Chief Minister and Treasurer wants to do, even though the problem is of this Chief Minister's making. If she does not think so, let her tell us. Knowing that there has been a major superannuation problem coming up on the horizon for the four years that she has been Chief Minister and Treasurer, what has she done to address it? The answer is nothing.
The first time that any effort to address that question appeared in any public documentation was when we saw the $200m provision over the next five years in the current year's budget. Why did you not do something for each of the last three years, Chief Minister? I will tell you why. You thought you could go on year after year flogging off public assets and covering up your deficiencies as a Treasurer. Now you have been caught out. Because of your failure to provide information to the members of this place and to the public, because of your propensity for sticking things under the