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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 397..


QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, am I correct in assuming that you will be answering any questions that would normally be directed to Mr Stefaniak?

Mrs Carnell: Yes.

CRA Ltd - Waiver of Stamp Duty

MS FOLLETT: I direct a question to the Chief Minister. Given that the waiver of stamp duty on the CRA restructure had been proposed to and refused by the previous Government, why did you agree to this generous donation to the coffers of a multinational mining giant?

Mr De Domenico: Was it Optus or - - -

MS FOLLETT: I hear interjections from the other side about Optus. I would like to indicate that I refused the waiver proposals from CRA, from Coles-Myer and - - -

Mr De Domenico: But not from Optus?

MS FOLLETT: I will respond to that interjection, if I may, Mr Speaker. In the case of Optus - - -

Mrs Carnell: No, it is not a personal explanation; you can do that later.

MR SPEAKER: If you want to weave it into your question, you may attempt to do so.

MS FOLLETT: I am doing precisely that. In the case of Optus, the arrangement was that some stamp duty would be paid; it was not completely waived. There was a six-figure donation to the Clinical School foundation and a guarantee that Optus Vision, the pay TV company, would be incorporated in the ACT, so benefiting Canberra in the future through the trading in stock in that company, which was a new company. I ask again: Given that none of those circumstances applied in the case of CRA, why did Mrs Carnell agree to it? How many jobs are involved for Canberra? How many people does CRA employ here at the moment? What will be the increase? What will be the revenue to the Territory from share trading in CRA stock?

MRS CARNELL: Thank you very much for the question, Ms Follett. I think that probably this whole situation shows a fundamental difference between this Government and the previous Government. The fundamental difference with this Government is that we are interested in creating an impression and a reality that the Territory is a great place to do business in.


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