Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2324 ..
has considered all the problems associated with this continuous registration I, personally, have grave doubts.
I know that these matters will be discussed in due course, and I hope that the government takes aboard the concerns that have been expressed by members of this house and, indeed, the public. I do not believe the problems relating to continuous registration have been addressed adequately, and we may see another backdown by the government, like the bushfire levy. Who knows?
The other matter I could address under the general heading of "territories"is that of territory-owned corporations. I dare not say anything about the Australian International Hotel School or Totalcare Industries. Under this government, these two matters have become so sensitive that it would perhaps be wiser to hold my comments until we see what the final outcome is.
However, I can briefly address the Actew Corporation. The question on my mind, still-because it is effective from 1 July-is about the electricity rates upon introduction of full retail contestability. I remain concerned about the rates that will be charged for self-funded retirees, and I hope that the forecasts of Actew's financial position will continue to improve with the onset of FRC.
If that is the case, I would hope that the government addresses the question of self-funded retirees being entitled to the same concessions and the same generosity that this government has extended to pensioners under full retail contestability. That remains to be seen. I, for one, shall be pursuing it, if only in the interests of fairness and equity.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure-part 1.7-Central Financing Unit, $10,857,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $10,857,000.
MR SMYTH(Leader of the Opposition) (5.22): The Central Financing Unit is a very important unit inside the Treasury. The major changes affecting the CFU in the coming year relate to the way in which the territory operates its bank accounts.
Following comments made by the Auditor-General, all relevant financial transactions are now made through the territory banking account. In this line of the budget we have what appear to be inappropriate performance indicators. I mentioned before one of the measures that have been deleted this year because it was the normal day-to-day functioning of the CFU. That is exactly the point. There must be some indicators that are more useful in demonstrating the performance of the CFU.
More broadly, the government has indicated that the CFU will be completing a review of investment strategies and other matters in the coming budget year, 2003-04. It will be important to consider, in relation to the outcomes of such a review-when it has been finalised-that there have been a number of disruptions to the ACT's investment strategies over recent months, culminating in substantial increases in assets being in cash and near-cash forms during the year 2002-03.