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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3039..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

a given day, and how much people spend on their cars. In more recent times, I have read the Treasury assessment from top to bottom.

Mr Stefaniak: Did David Hughes work with you in 1998?

MR QUINLAN: Yes, David Hughes did. I think, before that, he worked at the university. He also wrote a book called Capital ideas, which would be very dear to your heart, Mr Stefaniak. David Hughes is a quite renowned economic rationalist and does not necessarily have my far-left socialist leanings.

Canberra Technology Park

MS TUCKER: I am not sure whether my question is for Mr Stanhope or Mr Quinlan. My question is with regard to the Canberra Technology Park and, more generally, about what this government's policy is on the management of public assets. I wrote to Jon Stanhope about this, and he responded-talking about the white paper that has been developed and roles of incubators. However, my question goes more to the question of where this government sits with the management and ownership of public assets.

In a letter from Mr Quinlan to a constituent on the same issue, attached to Mr Stanhope's letter, it was pointed out that, basically, CTP has the freedom to set rent at desired levels; that CTP is obligated to return 10 per cent of its total rental income to the ACT government, and this rises to 15 per cent on 1 July; and that it also houses a number of community-focused organisations, such as the Blue Gum School and the Canberra marching band-and others not mentioned here but which I am aware of-at discounted rent levels, which impacts on its rental returns.

My first question is this: this is a public asset, and I know you are funding one organisation to provide a service, and that they then give most of that money to the now private landlord. What is your government's position on the management of a building such as this? Have you done the work to show that it is cheaper for you to hand over management of the building in this way, considering that you are subsidising the rent of at least one of the organisations to such a large degree?

MR QUINLAN: The deal was already on foot. I would have to get back to you, if you want numbers, because I do not have all the figures at hand. The company running the Academy of Interactive Entertainment and MicroForte Pty Ltd would claim that they are just breaking even in providing that facility. That is the latest claim that I heard today, when I hosted a lunch with some knowledge-based industry people.

At this stage, the Watson High School belongs to the Canberra Tech, so maybe it is neither Mr Stanhope nor I but Mr Corbell you should have asked. As he is incapacitated, I will address the question.

Watson High School is an asset allocated to CIT and, effectively, they put the arrangements in place. There has been some discussion about the use of that asset, because of its proximity to the CREEDA business incubation suite at Downer. So there is a bit of competition there.


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