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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3724..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

volatile market and, therefore, exposed Actew to the process of borrowing-borrowing with interest. That is interest which comes off the dividend and comes to the government and the people of the ACT. It was a bit of an accounting shuffle. As for the net gain, as it has transpired, it was not the smartest of investments.

Mr Humphries: What about the interest on lendings for the $300 million?

MR QUINLAN: There is an understatement. Further to that, the previous government wanted to sell all of Actew and put the cash in the volatile equities capital markets-this volatile area where we have natural monopolies-the electricity distribution system, the water distribution system and the sewage collection system, which will not be duplicated. They will not be open to competition as such. They will be regulated, but they could offer reasonable, steady returns. A point was made in this place from the other side of the house, when we were over there, that it was not necessarily a smart thing to be flogging off natural monopolies that will, under a regulated process, draw a reasonable return on investment, and go into the volatile capital markets that the previous government did.

I commend the HIA and the MBA for their community-spirited approach to making sure that the funds of the people of the ACT are, in their view, not at risk. As I said, I am sure they are not acting out of self-interest. However, I would like to think that the next advertisement they put in-and I would like to see one put in-would mention the fact that it would appear, on face value, and as matters have turned out, that one of the blunders made by the previous government was extracting capital from Actew and that a second one was selling off half of Actew

Temporary remand centre

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for corrections, Mr Quinlan. Minister, the temporary remand centre at Symonston has opened. However, there are rumours that it is already full. Can the minister inform members as to how many remandees are currently being held at the temporary remand centre-and at the Belconnen Remand Centre?

MR QUINLAN: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. I also thank Mr Smyth for notice of the question, to enable us to give meaningful statistics. These will be changing figures, so it is probably not a great measure of where things will be, but, at this stage, we have 71 prisoners on remand. There are 55 at Belconnen, five at Symonston, 10 at Junee, one at Goulburn and five at Mulawa Correctional Centre-those would be females.

Mr Smyth: Are these remandees?

MR QUINLAN: These are remandees. The practice has been that, where people are on term remand, the overflow is handled here. We use the watchhouse and whatever facilities we can, or send them to other facilities. I do not have details but, if you want details, we will get a briefing for you on that. I am advised that the situation with the 10 remandees at Junee will change as those people come up for trial and are either incarcerated as prisoners, rather than remandees, or released. The use of the Symonston temporary remand centre will then increase. At this stage, I think it is reasonable to expect that, when we have sent prisoners down there and there is no pressing reason why


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