Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1241 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Not at all, but I am saying that you could hardly call it independent, given its close proximity to the ACT government.

The report of Mr Blessington-which I think most members have seen, and which I will table in a moment-indicates very clearly that there are considerable problems in the way in which superannuation is being handled. I seek leave to table that report.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I present the following paper:

State of the Territory's Finances, as at 31 October 2001-An independent analysis of the A.C.T. Commission of Audit Report, dated May 2002.

Mr Speaker, issue was taken with the way in which superannuation investments are treated. In particular, Mr Blessington says that, in looking at this matter, it is wrong of the commission of audit to take the snapshot date as 31 October 2001. At the end of question time, Mr Quinlan said he saw nothing wrong with adjusting the usual date, or providing an additional date for taking an assessment of the territory's superannuation assets return. He thought it was all right to take a snapshot as of 31 October, as opposed to relying on the assessment as of 31 December.

I make an observation about that. Why is it that the territory does not do an assessment of the superannuation returns each quarter? We had one in December and March, but not in September or October. Why? The answer is that an assessment done in September or October is too unreliable to be regarded as an accurate picture of what is happening with the territory's superannuation investments. That is why, to the best of my knowledge, the Treasury of this territory has never done an assessment at that time of year.

Mr Quinlan says it is all right to do an assessment then, because it gives you a picture of what was happening in the superannuation account at the time of the change of government. Mr Quinlan said he was trying to look at the picture of what would have happened, had a Liberal government remained in office. He was attempting to find out if there would have been a surplus or deficit under a Liberal government, had it stayed in office. That was the question he was posing to the community.

That being the case, why did he not take a figure as at 31 December? That is the date at which he would be able to assess what was happening with the tracking of our superannuation investments-presumably more accurately than 31 October. The performance of our investments was not going to change merely because there had been a change of government. I would love to think that the world markets of New York, London and Hong Kong would be shaken to the foundations by a change of government in the ACT, but I do not think that is the case.

The result was that, to have taken the figures in October rather than December, when a better picture was emerging, it was simply misleading. That is Mr Blessington's point in this report. So you can see, in the government's approach, evidence of sloppiness, carelessness and a lack of attention to detail. That was highlighted in question time today, by reference to the fact that the government's own consultation document,

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .