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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 August 2010) . . Page.. 3788 ..


MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, given the TWU’s involvement in the Australian Labor Party and their heckling of you at the recent conference, do you have a conflict of interest in these negotiations?

MR STANHOPE: I am sorry, I did not quite catch the last bit. Do I have a what?

Mr Coe: A conflict of interest.

MR STANHOPE: I do not have a conflict of interest. I certainly have a number of strong friends and colleagues in the Labor Party who are not members of the Transport Workers Union. We are as one on 99 per cent of issues with the party faithful and I am sure as one in relation to our joint commitment to ensure that the people of Canberra have a public transport provider that they can be proud of.

Members of the TWU—ACTION drivers and ACTION staff—are enormously proud of their company, ACTION, as is the government and we share a determination to ensure that we can grow this business, that the people of Canberra will come to use it in far greater numbers and far more willingly than they currently do. Nobody wins in a circumstance where we cannot. This is a business. It is a $100 million business and—

Mr Coe: Not many businesses run on an $80 million subsidy, do they?

MR STANHOPE: That is right. That is the nub of the issue. It is a $100 million business surviving on an $80 million government or taxpayer subsidy. We need to adjust those proportions and those percentages. It is a hard ask of government. After seven years of Liberal Party government, those proportions did not shift a bit.

It is one of those issues in government where there needs to be some bipartisanship in relation to a major issue facing this community that requires the attention of all of us. Surely if there is an area where there is some room for bipartisanship in relation to seeking an agreed or mutually desired outcome, namely, an enhanced public transport system, then I would have thought the Liberals would have been wanting to be part of the solution and not, again, just oppose for opposition’s sake.

Mr Coe: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: I am sorry, we are out, Mr Coe.

Taxation—review

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on 12 August, you announced that a review was to be conducted of the ACT’s taxation system and that this review would be headed by a former ACT Treasurer, Mr Ted Quinlan. On 17 March 2005, Mr Quinlan told a meeting of real estate agents that “the government


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