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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3250..


ACTEW (TRANSFER SCHEME) BILL 1998

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER: I will pick up the interjection from Mr Humphries. He said, "That is not what the Auditor-General says". I think I had better read this paragraph aloud and make it clear for the Hansard record. There is one paragraph headed "Other Considerations", and it says:

There are of course many other factors to be taken into account in considerations of a sale of ACTEW. These include the impacts on overall employment in the ACT, the gross Territory product, disposable household incomes, et cetera. Effective regulatory regimes and other relevant policies need to be developed and implemented including ensuring that the new owners protect the environment, continue services at least at present levels and also meet community service obligations.

He has referred to those other broader public interest issues in his report and the point is - - -

Mr Humphries: And he still finds that we should sell ACTEW. He still says we should sell it.

MS TUCKER: Mr Humphries interjects that we should still sell ACTEW. Well, I am sorry - - -

Mr Humphries: No, he says it. He says it.

MS TUCKER: Yes, the Auditor-General says - - -

Mr Hargreaves: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Ms Tucker is being badgered. Would you like to step in, please?

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. I do not think we have any badgers here.

MS TUCKER: Okay, thank you for your protection, Mr Hargreaves and Mr Speaker. The Auditor-General may have come to a particular conclusion on this when looking at the finances of it. That is his job. Fine. What I am trying to make clear in this speech right now, Mr Speaker, is that there are other points of view in the world other than those of the Auditor-General, and they are views that are of the community, a large percentage of the community. The Australian community generally, in fact, and also other countries now are questioning the efficacy of this tendency to sell off assets and always reduce things to the bare minimum in terms of government responsibilities and handovers to the private sector. This Government is basically expecting the Assembly to make a decision affecting a billion dollars of the ACT people's assets, despite the fact that they have not allowed this rigorous analysis and assessment of this other side of the question.


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