Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 3695..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
The bill also provides for any further delays in the commencement of the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Act 2006 to be made by regulation. The Territory-Owned Corporations Act 1990 requires the shares of Rhodium to be held by an ACT government minister. Therefore the shares cannot be sold until Rhodium has been removed from schedule 1 of the act.
As members of this Assembly would recall, the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Act 2006 was passed in the Assembly in December last year and was notified on 20 December 2006. This act provides for Rhodium Asset Solutions to be removed from schedule 1 of the Territory-Owned Corporations Act 1990 on a date to be fixed by the minister or 12 months after the date of notification.
Since then the government has undertaken a two-stage procurement process to sell Rhodium Asset Solutions. As part of the sale, the buyer will also manage the ACT government fleet contract for an initial term of three years.
It was originally expected that the sale would be completed before December 2007. However, the sale process has been longer than originally anticipated. To ensure that the territory obtains the best possible financial outcome it has been necessary to extend the procurement process. In particular, the due diligence verification process has been lengthy. Rhodium's poor IT infrastructure has made it difficult to extract and authenticate information relating to Rhodium's past transactions. This has meant that the negotiations with the preferred respondent have taken longer than expected when the open tender process commenced earlier in the year.
The government is expecting that the final negotiations with the preferred respondent will soon be completed although it is doubtful if the sale will occur before the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Act 2006 is scheduled to take effect on 20 December 2007.
It is for this reason that the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Bill will extend the start date of the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Act 2006 for a further six months to 20 June 2008 or at a date advised by the minister.
This extension will allow the preferred respondent to complete the confirmatory due diligence and will ensure that Rhodium is not prematurely removed from schedule 1 of the Territory-Owned Corporations Act 1990 before the company has been sold.
As previously announced by the government, the sale of Rhodium will save taxpayers' money which can be used for higher priority purposes for the benefit of the ACT community.
I commend this bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Amendment Bill 2007
Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.