Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3156..
MR MOORE (continuing):
and make sure that we can continue to work in the most effective way to deliver the best possible health care, because fundamentally that is what it is about and we know that nurses are the backbone of our hospital and health care system.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, can the Chief Minister say on what basis he and his co-shareholder, Mr Smyth, made judgments on Actew's requests for approval of its decision to put an extra $30 million into its TransACT holding if he didn't know the basis of the revised business plan, or is it the case that there is no revised business plan?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think I answered this question yesterday. I made it clear when I answered the questions on this yesterday that it wasn't the shareholders-let me emphasise this very much-who made this decision by themselves; it was cabinet. Cabinet met to consider these matters and cabinet ultimately took a position on what was being proposed.
You ask: on what basis did we make a decision? I say to you that I made it clear in answer to questions yesterday that cabinet did not make a decision as a substitute for the decision of Actew. The decision cabinet made was that it did not have enough information on which to-
Mr Hargreaves: Did you flick it to the public servants?
MR HUMPHRIES: You asked a question; do you want to hear the answer or not? The issue is: what decision did we make? The decision we made was that we would rely on the commercial judgment of Actew as to whether a further investment was made. That was the decision of cabinet. That was based on the inadequacy of the information that was available to us at that time, on short notice, to replace our judgment for theirs.
MR WOOD: My question is to Mr Moore and follows the SACS question I asked Mr Humphries yesterday. So if Mr Humphries wants to take it on as well, that's fine. Mr Moore, you heard the Chief Minister yesterday say that the government is committed to ensuring that services to the community are maintained at an appropriate level. He also said that the government is cognisant of the impact on agencies in general and is anxious to provide the means for as many agencies as possible to be able to continue to provide those services.
My question is simply: in view of the importance of the matter are you yet able to advise what steps are now under way to work out that assistance to agencies? When might they receive that assistance?
MR MOORE: Thank you for that question. As you would be aware, the department is in negotiation with agencies developing their purchase contracts. Within those purchase contracts negotiations there is room for the discussion on the SACS award. I am informed that the Department of Health, Housing and Community Care has actually been discussing this with a number of agencies that are affected, but the number of agencies affected is actually minimal. There are a small number.