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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 873..


MR QUINLAN: There are two elements, aren't there? Will we subsidise loss-making activity and will we continue profit-making activity? They can be separated, can't they? No. I think we have offered you a briefing that you are yet to get; is that right? Have we offered a briefing?

Ms Dundas

: Yes.

MR QUINLAN

: Perhaps you should take us up on that and we will provide it.

Ms Dundas

: But I am asking for public information.

MR SPEAKER

: Order! You have a question before the house.

MR QUINLAN

: I am actually trying my best to understand the thrust of the question; that's all.

MR SPEAKER

: I am sure that Ms Dundas would be prepared to ask the question again.

MS DUNDAS:

But in a different way. If a business segment of Totalcare is operating efficiently, will it be allowed to continue, even though it is making enough profit out of ACT government contracts to, to a certain extent, undercut on non-ACT government contracts?

MR QUINLAN

: The best answer I can give to that is that, if we have a section of Totalcare operating in the future, we would expect it to perform in the overall sense and we would expect it to be involved in differential pricing from time, as is everybody else. The private sector would do the same.

Ms Dundas

: But not with public money.

MR QUINLAN

: We are talking about this thing actually operating effectively, and I hope that you mean competitively and benchmarked. If it is operating effectively at a benchmark with the private sector and is turning a profit and it wants to expand its business by putting in supercompetitive pricing, then that would be a business decision. It is the same as the decision that a private sector business would take. If we had a section of Totalcare working as a commercial entity tomorrow, we would not hamstring it in any way in comparison with the private sector.

Disabled people-taxi subsidy

MRS BURKE

: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Wood, the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, late last year the acting chief executive of Disability ACT wrote to various local disability groups making a specific commitment to implement changes to the ACT taxi subsidy scheme by 1 March 2003. Minister, as the changes have not occurred, why has your government broken its promise to the disability community? When will the disability community get a real undertaking from your government to do as it has promised?


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