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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4215..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

the government has the guts to go the extra yard. The people who cry out will be the same people who cried out against a number of other programs that, in the end, are life saving and health giving. In the end that is the bottom line. I think that is what this legislation plans to do.

MR ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): The discussion is concluded.

Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Bill 2006

Debate resumed from 23 November 2006, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.18): Members might be alarmed if they knew how much I know about the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Bill, which rightly is the province of Mr Mulcahy. I am speaking on behalf of Mr Mulcahy, who is elsewhere because of family matters. He asked me to commence by thanking the Treasurer and his staff for their cooperation and availability in providing him with a briefing on this bill and for ensuring that his office was familiar with all relevant details.

The Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Bill was designed for the sole purpose of facilitating the sale of Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd, which up until now has been among the ACT government's suite of territory-owned corporations. This move is warmly welcomed by the opposition and, in particular, by the shadow Treasurer who, members no doubt will recall, has been an ardent supporter of the sale of this corporation away from the control of the territory government and into more capable and expert private hands. In his inaugural speech Mr Mulcahy said:

In favouring the fostering of an entrepreneurial spirit, I am not one who is at all enthusiastic about governments embarking on the world of commerce. Whilst there are noted examples of where governments have succeeded in the commercial world, the path of government at all levels throughout Australia is littered with examples where noted failure has occurred when government has strayed into commercial endeavour and often failed dismally, leaving great expense to taxpayers or ratepayers respectively. These experiences have afflicted governments of all political persuasions.

That statement was made in December 2004. In December 2006 we seem to have come full circle. The opposition welcomes the government's belated commonsense decision to relinquish its control of Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd. More specifically, the bill makes two main legislative changes. It removes all references to Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd from the application of the Territory-Owned Corporations Act 1990 and it removes references to Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd from sections 3 and 4 of the Taxation (Government Business Enterprises) Regulation 2003.

The bill is the last legislative requirement before Rhodium can be sold. The corporation is scheduled to be put on the market in January 2007 and it is predicted to be sold before 30 June 2007. The ACT Department of Treasury informed the opposition that there is considerable private sector interest in purchasing Rhodium, but no additional information about the level or nature of this interest has been


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