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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2695..


MS CARNELL (continuing):

Apparently there are sliding scales, and it is quite a complicated deal. But, at least at this stage, it looks like a good deal for ACTEW. I suppose you could equate it to the arrangement we have with the ANZ customers that we supply. We are providing ANZ power at significantly cheaper prices than we are charging our own consumers. That again shows you what is wrong with this market and why it should not have government involvement.

MR OSBORNE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, as you said, this appears to be a great deal for the people of the ACT. In publicly criticising Delta for proposing this contract, has your New South Wales Liberal colleague effectively put this contract at risk? Have you contacted him and asked him to pull his head in?

MS CARNELL: Yes.

Police Driver Training Track

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety. In today's Canberra Times there is an article on the closure of the AFP's driver training track at Majura Road. Can the Minister advise why it was closed down and returned to the Federal Government? I understand it was their land anyway. Was it the decision of the AFP and was the ACT Government consulted on it?

MR HUMPHRIES: The decision to close down the driver training track, I understand, stemmed from a decision by the Federal Government to relinquish some assets that the AFP operated, not necessarily just assets in the ACT but certainly including some in the ACT. As a result, they announced that decision without prior consultation with the ACT Government. I had discussions with officers of the Federal Government about that decision, and I expressed my concern that that decision would leave the ACT in a position of not being able to adequately cater for its own policing needs. As well as the driver training facility being at that location there were also some buildings used by Special Operations for training and also, I think, some accommodation for the dog squad. Those things were all being put at risk, apparently, by the decision to sell off that site.

We obtained an assurance from the Federal Government that they would consult us before the decision was taken forward and before we were put in the position of having to vacate the site. At this stage I am not sure where the discussions with the Federal Government have reached, but I understand that the AFP have been advised that they will need to make arrangements, at least on a temporary basis, perhaps otherwise, for some driver training to take place at Goulburn. What arrangements have been made in respect of the Special Operations accommodation or buildings there and the dog squad I am not yet able to say.

I regard the decision with some concern. The ACT obviously has relied on those facilities. It is, I would suggest, a further argument for us having some greater measure of control over our police than we experience in our contract with the Federal Government and a very good reason for us to put those issues in contention when we come to renegotiate the contract with the Federal Government over the use of policing by the AFP.


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