Page 2928 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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We asked whether or not we were online for the target of superannuation provision. I am sure everybody is aware that returns from investments have fluctuated somewhat since the global financial crisis but we were guaranteed that we were on target to meet the needs that we have and the obligations that we have to meet.

In this area the committee only made one recommendation. That followed a discussion about investment in fossil fuels. We were told that the government is gradually phasing out investment in certain areas such as those subject to possible stranded assets to reduce risk. Certainly coal is now considered a fossil fuel; so it is considered to be potentially in that category of stranded assets. Recommendation 61states:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consider sensible and well-timed divestment of its holdings in fossil fuels.

The government’s response was that they agreed to it. That was very wise on behalf of the Treasurer. I will read out the government’s response:

The Government has an ongoing commitment to increase renewable energy sources, reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions over time. In line with this, direct investment exposures will also be reduced over time. The Government will continue to periodically consider the responsible investment policy framework as part of examining all investment exposures.

Members would remember that, of course, public accounts did an inquiry into responsible investment. The recommendation continues:

The framework will be adjusted as appropriate, with changes to exposures made progressively and prudently over time. This will be an ongoing program.

With that, we will be supporting this one.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (8.09): The superannuation provision account was established to recognise and account for the territory’s employer-defined CSS and PSS superannuation liabilities and the financial investment assets for funding these liabilities. The account also recognises the defined benefit superannuation liabilities for eligible members of the Legislative Assembly. The government maintains the objective of fully funding the territory’s defined benefit superannuation liabilities by 2030.

The annual amount of budget appropriation of funding in the account is used to fund the annual benefit payments to the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, formerly ComSuper. The superannuation provision account is meeting its long-term target investment objective of CPI plus five per cent per annum net of fees, having achieved an annualised return of CPI plus 5.2 per cent net of fees since 1996-97. On current settings the objective of fully funding the defined benefit superannuation liabilities by 2030 remains on target. I commend the appropriation to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

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