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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3723 ..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

For the benefit of Assembly members, could you please comment on the accuracy of this advertisement in its reference to the current government? In particular, would you address the claim that the ACT government employees super top-up of $30 million is a blunder?

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I want clarification from you about the nature of questions. You ruled last week that a question in which a minister was asked to comment on somebody else's views on something was a question that was out of order. I am not clear what the distinction is between those sorts of persons and the person that Ms MacDonald has quoted in her question. Would you provide us with a ruling on what kind of person's views can be quoted to a minister, for him or her to comment on?

MR SPEAKER: Last time I looked, Mr Humphries, HIA was not a member of this Assembly. The question to which you referred was a matter which Mr Hargreaves is said to have commented on. As far as the advertisement in the Canberra Times is concerned, I think the executive is entitled to answer questions about advertisements which reflect, one way or the other, on the way this executive operates. It is well within the ambit of the Treasurer's role to answer questions in that respect.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, for the benefit of Mr Humphries, I will try to confine myself to factual material and matters relevant to this Assembly.

Yes, I have seen the advertisement mentioned. I am sure that both the HIA and the MBA are good corporate citizens. This advertisement was not placed entirely on the basis of self-interest, because it does not mention that the building industries might not make the money they have made over the past few years. We will give them the benefit of the doubt. Let us assume that this advertisement was placed purely within the public interest, and out of a desire on the part of the MBA and the HIA to ensure that the people of the ACT did not lose out.

I do not wish to spend a great deal of time talking about the HIA or the MBA-the principle of advertising government blunders or errors, or mistakes, as they put it. There is a list here. One of them says, "Bruce Stadium $45 million." That might be a bit of an understatement, according to the audit report. Perhaps that can be the first substantial matter I address-the cost of the Bruce Stadium. I think the estimated cost, by the Auditor-General, was $80 million-plus, against the initial commitment by the previous government of something like $12 million.

I will now refer to the bit about superannuation top-up. We are not sure where the $30 million figure comes from. If it is talking about the amount of money set aside by this government for superannuation, then it is more in the vicinity of $86 million. In the interests of accuracy, we would like that recorded-plus the fact that we intend to provide something in the order of $286 million, all things being equal, over the duration of the forward estimates in the budget brought down this year.

For the benefit of the HIA and the MBA, if they happen to read Hansard, I will say that, if they want to refer to mistakes associated with superannuation, I have a couple for them relating to Actew. The previous government took $300 million out of Actew and invested it as part of the superannuation funding. It put that $300 million into a highly

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