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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3260..


Questions without notice

TransACT

MR STANHOPE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Over the past two days the Chief Minister has been questioned about the decision of Actew to increase its holding in TransACT by way of a further investment of, according to various reports and answers, $20 million, $29 million or $30 million. Whatever the amount, the Chief Minister told the Assembly on Tuesday that the new investment took Actew's holding in TransACT to 35.61 per cent. Whilst the exact amount of Actew's investment is somewhat confused, the Chief Minister has also been confused over the current-that is, revised-estimated cost of TransACT's rollout. On Tuesday, in answer to me, he said that he did not know, and yesterday he said that it was approximately $200 million and no more precise advice was available.

Does the Chief Minister want to correct his answer of Tuesday that he did not know? Can he say whether he has been briefed by either his department or Actew since his answer of yesterday? If he has, can he say whether any more precise advice is now available; if so, what is it?

MR HUMPHRIES: I said yesterday in answer to a question from Mr Kaine:

I have asked TransACT whether they can be more precise about the figure.-

that is, the figure for the total rollout-

If I have a more precise answer, I will give it to you ... and to others who are interested. I do not believe that figure is yet available.

That remains the case. As soon as I have a figure from TransACT, it will be available to members of this place.

MR STANHOPE: I have a supplementary question. Can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly whether Actew provided either its voting shareholders-namely, the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister-or the cabinet with a revised TransACT business plan when it sought approval of its plan to increase its investment? If so, what is the difference between the amount of the estimated cost of TransACT's rollout in the original business plan and the current business plan?

MR HUMPHRIES: There is a revised business plan in the process of being developed. As last advised, that revised plan was being developed by TransACT itself and will be available to Actew and, I assume, to the government in due course. When that document is available, the questions that Mr Stanhope asks could be answered.

ActewAGL

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Treasurer, Mr Humphries. I understand today marks the first birthday of the ActewAGL joint venture, the partnership that was approved by this Assembly early in 2000. Last year there were concerns that Actew and the Canberra community would suffer from such a partnership. Minister, has ActewAGL met its performance targets.


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