Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3445 ..
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 Ltd
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.