Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 25 June 2009) . . Page.. 3055 ..
have already had discussions over a couple of years about this and it appears that the ACT government has invested in, as we mentioned, armaments, tobacco. These are all climate-change producing organisations whose activities will be adding to climate change.
These are all things which the government is putting energy and money towards reducing; so it seems a little silly, on one hand, trying to address problems like smoking and, on the other hand, putting your money there. But I take it that the government is clear that it is not going to take a values-based approach to this. It has been very clear about that.
But I would say that, even given the approach that it is taking, a risk-based approach, where it is looking at the risks associated with all the various issues with the portfolio, I do not think it is taking a very thorough approach. I would suggest that the government maybe look at the approach that the insurance companies, for instance, are taking, where, for about the last 15 years, all the major insurance companies in Australia and the world have been saying, “Climate change is a major problem, we need to do a lot more about it.”
It is a question of balance and we think that the government has not put enough balance on the risks, particularly on the non-financial risks. The government needs to look more clearly at this. Again, I go back to the evidence given to the estimates committee. Mr McAuliffe was asked, “Would applying PRI to our current strategy, going back, have changed things?” They said, “This is an exercise you can actually do.” Basically they were saying that what they have done has not changed anything; it has not changed how they have invested; it has not changed how they have voted; and it may or may not have led to some questions being asked of the various companies they invest in.
I do not think that is really good enough. It is an important issue and we would like to see the government at least seriously act on their risk-based approach. Look at the risks; look all at the risks; and take a good look at our investments.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.10—Territory Banking Account, $214,000 (capital injection) and $10,671,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $10,885,000.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.24): Mr Speaker, there is little one can say about the territory banking account. This is not to diminish the importance of this agency, but it is a reflection of what it is. It is a bank account. It has no staff. It is simply an account and I think that limits the matters that can be mentioned about it. I would note that, in line with the dramatic reduction in revenue flowing into the ACT coffers, the estimated balance in the territory banking account will fall from around $630 million as at 30 June 2009 to $152 million as at 30 June 2010. It then continues to decline to $122 million and then $96 million before its plan to recover in the 2012-13 financial year to $177 million. The balance has clearly remained relatively low throughout the outyears and I suspect there would be some doubt on the 30 June 2013 number.