Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3445..
MR MULCAHY (continuing):
owners of the investment—that is, the people of Canberra—but I also do not believe that it is the responsibility of shareholders in any corporation to take day-to-day responsibility for management. If you do that, you might as well have a government department and work on the more conventional processes.
The poor management of Rhodium is a sad chapter. It should be a lesson to all political parties about getting into government business ventures. It is a tragic cause of embarrassment for the territory. There has been a lot of loss of income and a lot of embarrassment, and a lot of lives have been disrupted. That is very regrettable. But I do commend the committee for the time they have put into the report. (Time expired.)
MR SPEAKER: At this point I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of students and a teacher from St Clare's. Welcome.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Rhodium Asset Solutions
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, you are one of two shareholders in Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd. In a unanimous report from the public accounts committee, the committee concluded that you and your fellow shareholder, Katy Gallagher, failed to comply with the Territory-owned Corporations Act. Chief Minister, why did you and Ms Gallagher fail to comply with your responsibilities and obligations under the Territory-owned Corporations Act?
MR STANHOPE: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. I am pleased to be able to respond in full to the allegations contained within the committee's report by reference to an advice from the ACT Government Solicitor which I have received today on the matter. In oral briefings I received from the ACT Government Solicitor earlier today, his preliminary advice to me was that the report was a nonsense. He has now formalised that advice. I am happy to read, for the information of members and the community, the advice of the Australian Capital Territory Government Solicitor on the committee's report. It states:
The Legislative Assembly's Standing Committee on Public Accounts ... has delivered its report reviewing the Auditor-General's report regarding Rhodium Asset Solutions Limited.
In a section titled "The Rhodium Shareholders"and "Rhodium as a TOC"... the Committee has expressed opinions as to the role and responsibilities of the voting shareholders.
You have sought my ... advice regarding the views expressed by the Committee.
The Committee has, in my opinion, misconceived the legal status and responsibilities attaching to the voting shareholders.