Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2295 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
Mr Speaker, this man was the Deputy Chief Minister in the previous government. After Trevor Kaine bailed out on him, he was the sole representative of the Liberal Party in Brindabella. He was the sole representative of the Carnell-Humphries Liberal government facing the people of Brindabella in October 2001.
The election result was the electorate's verdict on your work, Mr Smyth-and what a verdict it was! It represents the second time the people of Tuggeranong and south Woden have swung heavily to Labor when Mr Smyth was representing the Liberal Party. The relevance is his right to criticise-he has none. His acceptance in the electorate is zippo.
Mr Speaker, the result was 22 per cent against him in 1996, and 151/2 per cent against the Libs in 2001. I would like to know this: is it any wonder the crikey.com website is so full of rumours about Mr Smyth stalking Margaret Reid's Senate seat? They want to be very careful. Your colleagues want to be real careful that your curse does not strike a third time.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Low-income, self-funded retirees-pension benefits
MR CORNWELL (5.21): I move:
That this Assembly calls upon the ACT government to reverse the decision of its Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Mr Corbell, not to participate in the federal government's extension of pension benefits to low-income self-funded retirees in the ACT.
Mr Speaker, the background to this motion is that pensioners who exceed either the assets or income test do not qualify for a pensioner concession card but do receive a Commonwealth seniors health card. This health card is available to people of age pension age-65 for men, 62 for women-who do not receive a pension and whose adjusted taxable income is less than $50,000 (single) or $80,000 (couple combined).
The seniors health card provided by the Commonwealth offers discount pharmaceuticals and a telephone allowance. The federal government announced in the budget the intention to negotiate with the states to extend these concessions to include council and water rates, utilities charges, public transport and motor vehicle registration.
It was estimated that in the current year the cost to the ACT would be $3.5 million, of which the federal government would provide $2.1 million and the ACT $1.4 million on the 60/40 rule. The Labor Party, of course, know a lot about the 60/40 rule, as that is the rule elsewhere in Australia that their union puppet masters use to control them. I understand that in the ACT they have a 50/50 rule.
Maybe there has been some misunderstanding. I am being generous. When I asked a question in the Assembly on this matter, Mr Corbell said that the real problem was that there was no commitment from the Commonwealth government to match these funds in