Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2046..
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my understanding of the arrangement with the Williamsdale quarry-and I could be proven wrong, just as the Chief Minister could be, I suppose-is that, following the discovery of a rock deposit on a property outside of the ACT at Williamsdale, discussions were entered into between Totalcare and the land-holders, the McDonald family. Totalcare then, on the basis of a business plan, entered into a licensing arrangement with the land-holders. At that point Totalcare were the sole licence holders. So, they did not acquire 50 per cent-they had all of it.
What happened as a result of your letter-
Mr Humphries: They acquired 50 per cent of the joint venture.
MR BERRY: They are the only signatories to the licence with the McDonald family.
Mr Humphries: It is a licence to occupy the land, not to operate the lease; not to operate the mining agreement.
MR BERRY: That is right-they had it. That is the only asset that Totalcare has in the site-the licence to occupy the land and to extract rock. That is all they have. So Totalcare had all of the asset. Totalcare disposed of half of it to Pavement Salvage, without the authority of the McDonald family. Mr Speaker, they did it with the approval-in fact, the enforcement-of the ACT government, as set out in the letter I have tabled. That is to say, Totalcare can have no more than a 50 per cent holding in the joint venture.
Mr Speaker, that letter also authorises them to dispose of more than 50 per cent. There is an authority to dispose of more because the letter plainly says Totalcare shall hold no more than 50 per cent. So the authority there is to sell more. According to the head of the quarry, there are discussions going on with CSR.
Mr Speaker, this is not about calling into question Mr Humphries' honesty. This is about calling into question Mr Humphries' competence and understanding of his portfolio and what happens to be going on out there. My understanding, from the evidence that I have seen, is that there are discussions with CSR. CSR was one of the possible joint venturers authorised by the letter that you signed. There are commercial-in-confidence discussions going on.
Mr Humphries: No there are not.
MR BERRY: Well, according to the head of the quarry there are. You should give him a ring.
MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I am sorry to prolong this but Mr Berry has made further accusations which I need to respond to. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a further statement.