Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3645 ..
MR CORNWELL (continuing):
conformity with what this Assembly has previously agreed to, namely, that low-income, self-funded retirees should be at least considered in concessions, I would urge members to support my amendment.
MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (5.11) Unless one can infer from anything that Mr Cornwell has said that he wants more favourable treatment for one group of people in the community over another, this amendment is entirely redundant. It has more to do with Mr Cornwell's identification with a particular group than common sense. This is a nonsense.
I am presuming that being a self-funded retiree on a very low pension does not disqualify the recipient from a supplementary pension and would not disqualify a self-funded retiree from classification as a low-income earner, so what the hell is the point of naming a group? You may as well say, as well as including self-funded retirees, all low-earning redheads, because there is no logic to describing a group if you are going to treat them equally anyway. I have to say that this is a nonsense and it is not the first time that this nonsense has been brought into the place by Mr Cornwell, either by this means or by questions without notice.
Mr Cornwell: You're very sensitive about these people, aren't you?
MR QUINLAN: There is no logic, Mr Cornwell. Through you, Mr Speaker, I challenge Mr Cornwell to stand up in this place one day and say what extra benefit he wants self-funded retirees to get over other concession recipients, what additional-
Mrs Burke: He doesn't. It's all about equality.
MR QUINLAN: They get equality automatically by other measures. If you are a self-funded retiree, you are not precluded from being a pensioner and you are not precluded from qualifying as a low-income earner, so you would get equality. This seems to me to be a prescription for setting up inequality. I have to say to Mr Cornwell and to Mrs Burke, who seems to be directly involved or passionate about this matter, that this is a nonsense.
That Mr Cornwell's amendment be agreed to.
The Assembly voted-
Question so resolved in the negative.