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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 207..


MS DUNDAS (5.50): I do appreciate the involvement of members in this debate. Yes, we are talking about 400 staff in Totalcare, as the Treasurer has pointed out. We are also talking about at least $45 million of ACT taxpayers' money. I hope that the acceptance of this motion today will be another step forward in finding out whether we are getting value for money from how Totalcare is operating and whether we need to substantially review how it operates, how money is spent within Totalcare and how it goes out and bids for the contracts.

The Treasurer mentioned that he will make available to me a confidential briefing. I will be taking that up, because I am concerned about how Totalcare is operating and I do want to be assured that the business is running economically and socially in the soundest ways that it can; but rest assured that I will continue to work on this issue if information comes back that shows that Totalcare is not operating in a way that provides value for money for the ACT taxpayers' dollar. The Treasurer has said again and again that we need every dollar we have in the ACT's budget and we have to be quite tight in trying to figure out how to spend it. If there are private sector companies which can do the private sector contracts that are out there and the money that the ACT government is spending on supporting Totalcare could be better spent elsewhere, then we should seriously consider that.

I do recognise that some of the services that Totalcare provides are essential services. The cleaning of the linen in hospitals is essential and I am quite happy for money to be spent on those services by a government body doing those jobs, because we do need them. But questions have been posed during this debate today that, hopefully, the information that will be provided as a result of this motion will help address and we can then continue to investigate the financial dealings of the ACT and how best to spend our money here.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 5.53 to 7.30 pm

Gungahlin Town Centre-community consultation

MRS DUNNE (7.30): I seek leave to amend the motion standing in my name on the notice paper by adding another paragraph in the terms circulated.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Minister for Planning to immediately recommence consultations with the Gungahlin community over the design and lay out of the Gungahlin town centre, particularly in relation to a pedestrian precinct and town square.

The Assembly also calls on the Government to take no further action to implement its plan for the Gungahlin town centre until it has reported to the Assembly on its renewed consultation by the first sitting day in April.


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