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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2464..


Williamsdale Quarry

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my question relates to the Williamsdale Quarry. I refer the Chief Minister to page 2 of his legal advice, which he circulated on 18 July 2001 and which he relied on heavily. The advice states:

There are some sections of the TOC Act-

meaning the Territory Owned Corporations Act-

which might have some application. They are:

Sections 16 and 25. A TOC may not acquire or dispose of a "significant asset", or create a security interest over a "significant asset" without the consent of the Territory (through the voting shareholders).

Whether or not the proposed participation in a quarry will involve a "significant asset" can at this stage remain unanswered.

It goes on:

Suffice it to say that, if you have Territory approval to acquire an interest in the quarry, the only issue that need concern you is that, if development finance is to be obtained externally, granting any security interest to a development financier will itself require the approval of the Territory (again through the voting shareholders).

Section 16 of the TOC Act relates to "Acquisition and disposal of subsidiaries and undertakings" and section 25 relates to "Borrowing otherwise than from Territory".

Chief Minister, Totalcare through its subsidiary entered into financing arrangements of over $6 million with at least one development financier. Did the Chief Minister give consent pursuant to sections 16 or 25 of the TOC Act? If so, under which provision or provisions, and will the Chief Minister table the documents?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the transactions in question may well have occurred over the last couple of years. I do not know whether at the required time I was Chief Minister or Mrs Carnell was Chief Minister. I have no doubt that, if approval was required at any stage, the approval was obtained in accordance with the TOC Act and the decision was taken by Totalcare in light of the advice that they received.

The advice is good advice. I heard some snide remarks made as Mr Berry introduced his question about: "How much did you pay for the advice?"

Mr Berry: It is a bit thin.

MR HUMPHRIES: It is a lot thicker than the advice you tabled at the same time as you raised this issue originally.

Mr Stanhope: His was relevant.


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