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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1220 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I have got to assume from what I am hearing that the opposition now does not believe in accrual accounting, that it does not believe that we ought be funding, for example, our superannuation liabilities, because GFS does not do that-or don't you know that?

There are three elements to the GFS system. They talk about their method of either deficit or surplus, the cash surplus or deficit and net lending or borrowing. You only get to the real state if you take all of those three measures together. Net lending or borrowing does talk about the impact of what you have put aside, if you are putting anything aside, for superannuation. So you actually need to look at those three together.

The Access Economics paper does not do one thing-and I have no truck with the paper as it is because they said that this is a commentary based on GFS. This territory has gone ahead to accrual accounting. But this paper talks about only two of those measures. It talks about the net cash position over time. It does not worry whether or not that cash is encumbered-and I am not sure whether you are familiar with unencumbered cash as opposed to encumbered cash, because that is at the fundamental bottom line of our accounting these days.

You were the guys who wanted to sell Actew because we had to fund our superannuation liabilities. You want GFS as the system, which is to some extent yesterday's use or the lowest common denominator across the Australian states, because it suits. But it does not give you the true picture. In government, Liberals stood here and told us how accrual accounting gave us the true picture. So you guys have got to decide which gives you the true picture.

Mr Humphries: Name an independent authority.

MR QUINLAN: When you are desperate-

Mr Humphries: Just one-one independent authority who says you are right.

Mr Stanhope: Was this KPMG?

MR QUINLAN: I will correct that.

Mr Stanhope: They have taken their name off the report now, have they?

MR QUINLAN: Yes they did.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth has asked the question and Mr Quinlan is giving him an answer.

MR QUINLAN: The commission of audit was chaired by an independent, by Will Laurie. I will name Will Laurie, the independent chairman of the commission of audit, as concurring with my assessment of the ACT economy. So we are playing accountants at 40 paces-this is what you are trying to reduce it to.

We will discuss this later today and I will be happy to have that discussion. We will discuss the Access Economics report and Mr Blessington's-

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