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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1694 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

look at problem gambling as well as looking at gambling overall, and we look forward to a balanced report at the end of the day. We will be supporting the bill.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (6.33), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank members for their support. I believe it is important that we maintain the cap at this level until the studies are conducted. I hope that they will produce an answer that we can all agree on soon after that so that we can make a decision about the future of this arrangement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Financial Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 3 May 2001, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR QUINLAN (6.34): Generally we will be supporting this bill. We have had a briefing on the need, in particular, for protection of our offshore investments. While we were discussing that trash we also discussed a considerable amount of investment. We were talking of $2 billion worth of investments and we need to have the capacity to use derivatives to ensure that we minimise the risk of exposure.

I have to say, and I am happy to say it in this forum, that when it comes to investment and the management of investments of public money I would tend to be a conservative. I think that what we put in place in terms of the system for management of investment should lean to the conservative side to ensure that we do not expose ourselves to risk.

I think at one stage in the last year or so I saw a report where there was a fluctuation of $33 million in the value of our investments purely related to the exchange rate. In the turmoil that is the investment process across the globe, we saw that dissipate to some extent as the capital value of markets declined and decreased. So we would like to think that there is protection.

I give notice that I have an amendment. I think it has been distributed already. I will be looking to remove the term "enhancement" from the bill to ensure that we are not encouraging the upside, the speculative side, and that we are building an act that provides protection of public investment. We support the bill.

MR KAINE (6.36): I was quite interested to see this bill appear on the agenda without much fanfare. It appears on the face of it to be a minor bill but, in fact, its ramifications are far from minor. It seems to me that the last time that this matter was on the Assembly's agenda for debate was about 10 years ago, and we restricted the ability of our investors to invest money in this kind of investment. We did so for a good reason.

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