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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 7 Hansard (10 July) . . Page.. 2490..

Toorallie Woollen Mills

(Question No 278)

Mr Hargreaves asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 29 June Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000:

In relation to Toorallie Woollen Mills' relocation from Bombala to Canberra:

1. Will the company be paying $14,000 a month for leasing costs at Gold Creek;

2. Are you aware that the principals of Toorallie are currently in dispute with their staff over broken industrial promises and are being pursued through the courts for non-payment of outstanding creditor accounts, these being significant amounts;

3. Did the ACT Government advise Toorallie that stamp duty would be waived on the purchase of homes in the ACT by Toorallie employees;

4. Did the ACT Government, or any agency of the ACT Government, give Mr Smyth of Toorallie an undertaking that such a waiver would apply;

5. Did the ACT Government receive any risk assessment of the viability of Toorallie in Canberra; and

6. What other supportive concessions have you given to either Toorallie or the owners of the Gold Creek premises?

Ms Carnell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

1. The ACT Government is not a party to the commercial arrangements between Toorallie and the owners of the Gold Creek premises.

2. The ACT Government is aware of a dispute involving Toorallie in NSW through media coverage.

3. Toorallie approached the Business Support and Employment Unit in Chief Minister's Department seeking advice on the range of incentives available under the ACT Business Incentive Scheme (ACTBIS). As with any such inquiry, Toorallie was advised that under ACTBIS a number of incentives including stamp duty waivers could be provided. Toorallie was also advised that all incentive applications have to be assessed by the ACTBIS Panel and then approved by the Government. Toorallie made no application for incentives and no commitments or incentives have been provided to Toorallie.

4. See answer to Question 3.

5. Toorallie has made a commercial decision to relocate to the ACT and did not apply for nor did it receive any assistance from the ACT Government, therefore there was no reason for the ACT Government to carry out a risk assessment.

6. As above, no concessions have been given to Toorallie. Modem Furnishings Pty Ltd, the owners of the Gold Creek premises, purchased an adjoining area of land by direct sale at full market value through Disallowable Instrument No 11 of 1998. The additional land has become part of Modern Furnishings' lease.

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