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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 169 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Existing regulations on water reuse will need to be complied with. Those regulations are there for a reason, and we need to be sure they are complied with. But every possible advice will be given in a proactive way to suit the circumstances of the householder and to highlight the advantages of achieving a more energy efficient home, a more water efficient home and a more comfortable home to live in.

MS TUCKER: I am not suggesting that guidelines should not be complied with. The question is whether it is made easy for people to know how to comply with guidelines on grey water. There is some confusion.

My supplementary question is: are you aware, Minister, whether PALM is aware of the existence of the residents group Phoenix, which is addressing these questions and is prepared to work with other members of the community to make this easier?

MR CORBELL: I am not aware whether Planning and Land Management is aware of, or has had contact with, a community organisation called Phoenix. I welcome the establishment of that organisation. I think it is a very valuable rebuilding initiative that has come from people directly affected. I will make sure that PALM is aware of that organisation, if they are not already, and makes contact with them to offer any advice or assistance they may be seeking.

Budget policy

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, when you delivered your budget last year, you stated in a media release that the budget returned a modest general government sector surplus of $5.7 million and, across the four-year budget and forward estimate period, it delivered an aggregate surplus of $21.2 million. This is a quote from what you said:

One of my major goals in this budget was to achieve a budget surplus over the four year forward estimate period, which I have done.

Minister, recently, you released the December Quarterly Management Report on the government's finances. That report estimates that the 2002-03 budget will achieve an operating loss of $43 million, rather than the surplus of $5.7 million for which you had budgeted. Do you acknowledge that your budgetary policy will deliver an operating loss over the four-year forward estimates period, rather than an operating surplus?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I certainly am now depending on a big change on Wall Street, Mr Stefaniak let me say, given the performance of superannuation investments. I can assure you that we will be working for a surplus at the operating level. What we do at the investment level is, at this stage, out of our hands, to a large extent. We are working as well as we can to obtain maximum control over our investments. However, it is a tiger-by-the-tail situation when you have money out there and the market is flying. You use your judgment. Do you jump off when it is at its worst, or do you ride it out? To some extent, we have to have a little each way, but as to whether it is my budgetary policy which brought us to that position, the answer is no.

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