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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4412..


MR WOOD (continuing):

to maintain the level of properties that we have. I stress that as one of the most significant aspects of what I am doing.

Department of Health and Community Care-office accommodation

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister. Can the Chief Minister confirm that the Department of Health and Community Care has been suffering from a chronic lack of suitable office accommodation? Can you give an indication of the cause of that problem?

MR STANHOPE: Indeed, it is the case that the department of health is not well served by its current accommodation. At the moment, the administrative centre of the department, which members will recall has been substantially reshaped following the Reid review, is housed in the North Building in offices sadly in need of refurbishment. At the same time, the Community Care elements of the department are located in offices on the corner of Moore and Alinga streets in Civic, and not all of that building is occupied by elements of the health department. That, of course, is one of the difficulties that the department faces.

There is a whole floor-that is, level 4-that is occupied by a private company. Logically, the department has for some time been keen to pursue its option for taking over that private lease and co-locating within the Moore Street building. There has been, however, a stumbling block, and a stumbling block of some proportion. Level 4 is occupied by the company Fujitsu under the terms of a contract signed with the former government. By any measure, it is a good deal for the company. It is not hard to understand why Fujitsu has been reluctant to move out.

This matter has been referred to in the Assembly previously. The former Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell, answered a question on notice from Mr Kaine on the subject on 4 May 1999. Members of the government might recall it. Mr Kaine asked about the total value of the taxpayer-funded incentives that went to Fujitsu, including cash contributions and forgone revenue. Mrs Carnell confirmed that the company had been given, one assumes as part of the previous government's business development incentive scheme arrangements, discounted rental at the Moore Street offices and other office accommodation in the Callam Offices.

Mrs Carnell advised the Assembly that there was a rent-free period that was worth $761,000. The amount of revenue forgone, according to Mrs Carnell at the time, was a payroll tax waiver which in 1999 she estimated as being worth $428,000. It is perhaps a pity that Mrs Carnell did not give the complete answer to Mr Kaine pursuant to his question. Mrs Carnell did not mention the $75,000 cash incentive that Fujitsu achieved for its relocation, the fact that it got a 10-year lease over the Moore Street and Callam Offices accommodation, the first two years rent free, that it had the premises refurbished by the ACT taxpayer at a cost of $1 million, and that it received a 10-year payroll tax waiver that Mrs Carnell said was worth $428,000. The department now advises that the 10-year payroll tax waiver is worth $935,000, so it was potentially another $1 million.

But business incentives are business incentives, so we need to look at what Fujitsu brought to this deal. What did Fujitsu bring? As Mrs Carnell said in response to Mr Kaine, the deal was that the company expected to create more than 900 jobs in


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