Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3540 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
classification basis. This government, being a progressive government, would want that sort of regime to continue so that limited public funds are used for the maximum benefit of those that most need it and therefore for the maximum benefit of the community. I cannot answer a "Why?"for Actew other than to assume that they have made this mistake. If, in fact, the misapprehension is widespread-and I will have this checked-they may seek to make a clarification to let people know.
Electricity concessions provided through Actew are actually provided by government-well, they used to be provided by government. I will double-check it. But when I worked for Actew I made damn sure the government paid for it. This government, as I said, would want those concessions to be provided to those that really need them. If we provide them to people that do not particularly need them, someone somewhere else who needs then misses out.
MR CORNWELL: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Mr Dyer made the point in the article that one problem is that the ACT government sees-
Mr Hargreaves: Preamble.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, no preamble.
MR CORNWELL: Why does the ACT government see the income limit for the Commonwealth seniors health card as too high for electricity concessions for self-funded retirees, given that the ACT has a higher cost of living than most other places?
MR QUINLAN: I think I could get a seniors card, couldn't I?
Mr Cornwell: Yes. You deserve one.
MR QUINLAN: The seniors card carries with it some entitlements, and that just goes with age. But generally, for us ageing fellows, and ladies as well, we do not get much with the seniors card. In recent times I sent my subscription to the Southern Cross Club, and they sent half of it back because I was over 60. I said I did not want half of it back.
Mr Cornwell: Relevance, please, Mr Speaker.
MR QUINLAN: I just thought I would entertain the house with that.
Mr Cornwell: I am interested in self-funded retirees and this government's failure to recognise their needs.
MR SPEAKER: The Treasurer has the floor.
MR QUINLAN: My bowling club then did the same-sent half my subs back. I am not sure of the exact basis of your question, Mr Cornwell. The point that I want to make I made in the first instance: if this government provides concessions, it will want to provide them in the most progressive fashion practicable, and that generally means trying to identify the people who most need them, identify where funds are most needed and apply the funds there. That is what being a progressive government is about.