Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 19 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
carpet and hoping nobody will notice, it has now become a major public issue. You cannot hide it any longer. Information, since the Government will not provide it, has to come from somewhere.
It is not only Mr Quinlan who has the temerity to come up with a different view. It is also the Australia Institute. This bunch of local economists could not mix it with the big boys. Does the Chief Minister really mean what she said? Of course she did not mean it, but when you do not like the opinion being expressed you attack the messenger, just as Mr Hird a little while ago attacked Mr Osborne for having a different view to him in the committee. Mr Speaker, this debate, as the day wears on, is going to become more and more vitriolic. I think we have seen a taste of the future over the next eight hours or so. Frankly, I think it is going to create more heat than light. I think I know what the outcome is going to be; but, whether this debate will add anything to the conclusion when we finally vote at the end of the day, I am not sure.
I have to say, Mr Speaker, that it is time that somebody presented some alternative views to this place. The Chief Minister and her Government were never going to do that, because they had an agenda. They were not going to provide any information that might have given us an opposite view or a different view. Somebody else has taken the trouble. I commend the committee. Mr Hird talked about people being gutless. I think the opposite is the case. The members of this committee have taken the issue head-on. The gutless approach is to try to shove it under the carpet and pretend it does not exist and to say, "Maybe we can sneak it through without the public knowing". Of course, they will know in the future, when the asset has disappeared and when we still have to confront a major superannuation problem anyway under the Government's approach.
Mr Smyth: They will know in the future as the asset dissolves because we do nothing.
MR KAINE: Now we have the bachelor of economics giving us a little dissertation here, like his mate sitting up the back there. I am sure that when Mr Hird wrote this dissenting report he wheeled out his masters degree in economics and his fellowship of the Australian Society of Certified Public Accountants to back up his view. He accuses the committee of failing to understand the basic relationship of G minus T in the equation of the economy. Can Mr Hird explain it?
Ms Carnell: I can.
MR KAINE: I notice that the Chief Minister volunteers. That is because she, or one of her minions, wrote this report and not Mr Hird. She can get up and explain it, but Mr Hird cannot.
Mr Speaker, I await with great interest the developing debate today. As I said, I think it will produce more heat than light. I commend the committee for bringing to this place a different set of figures, a different view from the one that has been peddled by the Chief Minister and the Government. I think that the figures they have put forward have always been suss. The Chief Minister herself tied the sale of ACTEW to the superannuation question at the beginning. I notice she has been back-pedalling on that a bit lately, but it was the Chief Minister herself who tied the two issues. My view is that