Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3651 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
SPA Investment Portfolio Earnings 2002-03 YTD as at 31 October 2002-Copy of graph.
At the end of September 2002 the operating result for the general government sector was a surplus of $65 million. The operating result for the total territory was $92 million. As members know, at this time of year the result should be considerably better than that. This result is lower than would normally have been expected at this time of year. The lower than expected result is largely due to the continuing poor performance of superannuation related investments.
At the end of September 2002, unrealised losses from equities investments totalled $46 million and realised losses $2 million, against a year-to-date revenue forecast of $11 million. Once dividends and interest are taken into account, the total loss on superannuation related investments was $35 million. The information that I have tabled shows this trend.
Mr Speaker, I would like to reflect a moment on these losses. Members will appreciate that the 2001-02 result for the territory was also influenced significantly by these negative returns.
The government is managing a long-term investment strategy that was, to a degree, put in place by the previous government. In addition, accounting for these gains or losses in market investments in the operating result is an artifice of accounting. It is not a real measure of the government's ability in a policy sense to manage the finances of the territory.
The opposition enjoyed the inclusion of this measure in the budget bottom line for the reason that they were lucky enough to include it at a time when the markets were healthy and returns were strong. For example, gains on market investments in 1999-2000 were $53 million. What we are saying is that some of the losses we are incurring now are really an adjustment from previous somewhat illusory or ephemeral gains registered before.
I mentioned here before the fact that the opposition, when in government, took money out of Actew and placed it on investment, exposing this investment to a greater degree of fluctuation. They experienced the upside of this fluctuation; now we are experiencing the downside. This is an issue that our government now needs to consider carefully in framing our budgetary strategy for the next budget.
I commend the report to the Assembly.
MS DUNDAS (3.27): I move the motion standing in my name on the notice paper relating to the amendment of a determination under the Public Places Name Act 1989:
That this Assembly omit the Schedule to DI2002-171-Public Place Names 2002, No 11 (Street Nomenclature-Gungahlin) and substitute the following Schedule: