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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5568..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

taxpayer funds. We do not accept the Chief Minister's arguments, but we do question why he is so desperate to avoid scrutiny in this area. I commend this amendment to the Assembly.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (3:51): I must say that I do need to defend the Auditor-General from the accusation of the Leader of the Opposition that she made a false argument in relation to this issue. The government's argument in relation to this issue is an argument that is supported by the Auditor-General. The Leader of the Opposition can accuse me of all sorts of things across the chamber, but I think he really ought to leave the Auditor-General out of it and not accuse her of making false arguments.

I will conclude my comments on this by making just one observation in relation to the complexity of binding a TOC in this way. Actew has partners all over the place in relation to different aspects of its business. It is a very complex system or set of corporate arrangements that Actew has with AGL and with a whole range of partners and subsidiary companies. This is very complex. It is very simple to say, "We don't like the ads that Actew does; let's get Actew."That really does not have regard to the incredibly complex nature of the corporate relationships, arrangements, partnerships and groupings that comprise the ActewAGL corporate empire.

And this is the other issue. Nobody has thought this through. Nobody has thought through this. What about those companies in relation to which Actew has a holding, like TransACT? What about those companies that Actew basically was the sole shareholder in, like Ecowise? How does this impact on them? Can the supporters of this particular proposal answer this question for the Assembly and the people of Canberra here and now: what is the implication of this amendment for companies in relation to which Actew has shareholding? Can TransACT advertise now or not?

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.

Proposed new clause 7A.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3:53): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name, which inserts a new clause, clause 7A [see schedule 3 at page 5625].

This clause expands the responsible person definition to cover TOCs and other agencies. This has been included to cover the extra agencies, for the reasons above, and is in response to recommendation 12 of the committee. Other amendments which give effect to this are scattered throughout the bill, including amendment 10, a stand-alone amendment to the same effect, but this is essentially a flow-on amendment from the one we have just debated.


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