Triple-A Credit Rating

About this Item
SpeakersSpeaker; Daley Mr Michael; Baird Mr Mike
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 5385

Mr MICHAEL DALEY: My question is directed to the Treasurer. In light of the doubt cast on the Treasurer's tenuous projected budget surplus—not by me, but by Standard and Poor's—will he resign if New South Wales loses its triple-A credit rating on his watch?

The SPEAKER: Order! I am happy for the Treasurer to attempt to answer the question, but it is hypothetical and should not be allowed under Standing Order 128. I will allow the Treasurer to answer it, if he wishes. However, it is a ridiculous question. Yesterday I made reference to the framing of questions. I suggested that those who frame questions should refer to Standing Order 128 (2) (a) to (h) regarding what can and cannot be included in questions.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: It is amazing that the member for Maroubra would ask a question about any sorts of numbers whatsoever. Yesterday the Leader of the Opposition delivered his budget reply. When delivering a budget reply, is it not a fair place to start that there ought to be some form of economic policy or framework in it?

The SPEAKER: Order! There is too much audible conversation in the Chamber.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: There was one policy—not a bad effort, three bullet points, one policy—but they got that wrong by $100 million. Why did they get it wrong?

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Maroubra to order for the second time.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: They got it wrong because they ignored Treasury. Have we heard that before? Yes, we have. I cannot think of the scheme, but what does it do? Yes, it is to do with when the sun comes out—Captain Solar's scheme. There is only one Captain Solar.

Ms Carmel Tebbutt: Point of order: Standing Order 129 relates to relevance. The question was about maintaining the State's triple-A credit rating, not about the Leader of the Opposition. I have not heard the Treasurer refer to the State's credit rating at all.

The SPEAKER: Order! It was a hypothetical question asking whether the Treasurer would resign. The question was tenuous to start with. If members continue to interject they will be called to order without warning.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: One of the things in the budget of which we on this side are so proud is that by getting the State's finances back in order the O'Farrell Government has protected the State's triple-A rating. Labor was about to lose that rating. This Government will make sure it looks after that triple-A rating, which Labor was going to trash. I come back to the policy issue, the scheme that ran into trouble financially, and the sorts of issues that would influence the rating agency and put the triple-A rating at risk. One scheme was the Solar Bonus Scheme. What was that supposed to cost?

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Cessnock to order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: It was supposed to cost $355 million. On most recent accounts, what is the cost? It is $1.75 billion.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Monaro to order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: How the member for Maroubra can ask any of these sorts of questions without apologising to the people of New South Wales, I do not know.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Wollongong to order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: There are many things for which the member should apologise, but that should have been front and centre.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Marrickville to order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: I am not sure what the next 12 months will show us, but I can tell the House one thing it will show: a responsible Government improving services and delivering infrastructure for this State. On the other side, it will show that it is very likely that someone else on the Opposition side will deliver the budget reply next year. We want Robbo to hang on—

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Maroubra to order for the third time.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: —but that hero of middle managers across the country, the member for Maroubra, is working hard to be Opposition leader. This Government is getting on with the job. It is focusing on what the community wants, which is getting on with the job of fixing New South Wales.