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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1298..


MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, as a supplementary-and I guess this will be placed on notice as well: are you aware of any prospective issue of shares to, say, staff, management or directors and who might so benefit?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, no I am not aware of that. I am aware that there is to be a meeting of Actew's shareholders, I believe next week, at which issues of that kind might be raised. I will take up at that meeting what Mr Quinlan has raised with me and find out whether there is any question of that. I am not aware of it.

I might be able to answer a question that was asked earlier. As you know, Actew is one of a number of shareholders in TransACT, with an investment commitment totalling $30.3 million or a 26.8 per cent shareholding. An initial investment of $11 million was made while the company was a project within Actew. After TransACT became a stand-alone company, Actew received 16.666 million $1 shares effectively in return for its contribution of intellectual property and dedicated assets that were developed in the initial stages of the project. Under the TransACT shareholders' agreement executed in May 2000, funding of the development and roll out of the TransACT network was agreed and provided by a full board of TransACT to make calls on the shareholders from time to time. At that stage, draw downs were expected to cover a period of two years but were not specified in the agreement.

In January 2001 the TransACT board approved an accelerated development plan which requires Actew to fund the remainder of its investment, $19.3 million, before the end of November 2001. The first call payment of $3.4 million was made in February of this year. However, some uncertainty surrounds the dates of future calls on the remainder of the investment-that is, about $15.9 million-as these will depend on equipment availability and construction progress.

I am also advised that TransACT's fibre-optic network is totally digital and will furnish Canberra with one of the most advanced communication infrastructures in the world. Broadband is the latest technology available to the world with high band width intensive services. It is worth noting that the shareholder draw downs in total provide in excess of $100 million which will be applied to this major infrastructure project of real significance to Canberra's future as a centre of excellence in information communications. The significant investment that is being made by this process will provide about 300 jobs during the construction period.

As I have said, I will take up with TransACT and Actew the other issues which Mr Quinlan has raised with me.

Public exercise stations and trails

MR HIRD: My question is to the minister for sport, Mr Stefaniak. Has the minister received a report from the National Heart Foundation titled A Review of Public Exercise Stations and Trails in the ACT? If so, can the minister advise the parliament of its recommendations?

Mr Moore: It also involved Urban Services and Health.


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