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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1014..


MR OSBORNE (continuing):

know whether or not he could become involved with that. Perhaps there is scope for his involvement.

I thank members for their support. Yes, this is a blunt instrument-type approach, but I think it is a blunt instrument that we, as a parliament, should not be afraid to use when the time is right. I am pleased that we have got the support, and I am pleased now that 350 apprentices will be able to keep their jobs.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Totalcare-provision of services

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (12.17): I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to Totalcare and its employees and to the provision of quality services to the residents of the ACT.

Mr Speaker, I will give a brief history of Totalcare in speaking to this motion. Totalcare was corporatised on 1 January 1992. It had previously been part of the ACT Board of Health. Its core business was in linen hire, waste management and surgical instrumentation sterilisation. But even in its formative years it was in trouble. The closure of the Royal Canberra Hospital resulted in reduced demand and the company returned a loss of $90,000 in its first six months of operation. It is interesting to note from its annual report that the company reported that industrial relations were harmonious. In its second year Totalcare made a profit of $249,000 and returned a dividend of $38,000 to government. Industrial relations remained harmonious.

Three former non-core services were added to the company's core services-a transport division operating buses to transport the profoundly disabled, and frail and aged; an engineering service providing maintenance services to health service buildings; and an automotive service servicing the ACT Health fleet. The company reported, as in the previous two years, harmonious industrial relations.

In 1993-94 Totalcare made a profit of $338,000 and returned a dividend of $84,000 to government. The company extended the scope of operations by purchasing Canberra Oil Disposals. In 1994-95 Totalcare made a profit of $395,000 and returned a dividend of $120,000 to government. In 1995-96 it made a profit of $484,000 and returned a dividend of $242,000. In each of these years Totalcare managed successively to double the dividend that was returning to government. It is interesting, though, that in that 1995-96 year the board reported that after the date of that balance the government had announced the transfer to the company of a number of areas of DUS.

In the 1996-97 annual report of the company it was reported that business units transferred from DUS included capital works project management, civil engineering maintenance, surveying services, property management, building maintenance and fleet management. Totalcare's bus transport service was transferred to ACTION.


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