Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (13 August) . .
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.42): I move:
That this Assembly:
(1) notes that the:
(a) ACT Government has now entered into arrangements to sell ACTTAB to Tabcorp;
(b) future of the current staff of ACTTAB is unclear; and
(c) racing industry has concerns over the future of the industry post the sale of ACTTAB;
(2) calls on the Government to:
(a) detail to this Assembly consequential and transitional arrangements for employees and the racing industry as a result of this sale;
(b) consider retraining options for ACTTAB Ltd employees who may lose their jobs as a consequence of this sale; and
(c) ensure that the funding arrangements allow the racing industry to be self-reliant and sustainable in the long term; and
(3) refers the ACTTAB Ltd sale process to the ACT Auditor-General to consider a review of the sale.
It is important when the government sells assets that we get it right. I am reminded of the saying that if it appears too good to be true then it probably is. I think there are a lot of people in the community who are saying, "$105 million sounds like a good deal." It was certainly much more than was potentially touted and is probably much more than people expected the government to get from the sale. On face value, that is a good thing. But the question is: what have we given up to achieve that sale?
In the discussions I have had with the industry and in discussions with people who are concerned about the future of the staff, there have been a number of unanswered questions that I think could best be solved by allowing the Auditor-General to have a look at the issue.
The motion is very simple. Paragraph (1) notes that the government has now entered into arrangements to sell ACTTAB to Tabcorp. We believe the future of the current staff of ACTTAB is unclear. They have three months of certainty, but no-one can say what will happen after that. And I note that the racing industry has concerns over the future of the industry post the sale of ACTTAB, in that, whilst Tabcorp has put some incentives on the table, the industry will still be budget funded. As budget cycles come and go, the question will be: what can the industry rely on long term? It is one
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