Hansard . . Page.. 306 ..
decorporatise ACTTAB. It moved away from corporatisation. What has happened since? It has gone broke, basically. We have a TAB that simply cannot afford to service its debt - a debt given to it by the previous Government. They were the only two experiments. The one we corporatised now looks like making a return to the ACT, after a definite loss. ACTTAB was the opposite; we have gone from having a very vibrant entity to one that has a debt that it cannot afford to service - thanks to the previous Government, of course.
I think the challenges that lie ahead for the ACT are very much challenges for the whole Assembly, not just for the Government; but they are daunting. They are ones that are going to have to be taken on board, but we simply cannot achieve anything if we are going to have an opposition that simply refuses to accept that we have to move ahead. We have to attempt to operate in a collegiate fashion, at least in areas that we can agree on, and there must be some. I am pleased to see that every other member of this Assembly understands that more of the same is not going to be good enough any more. We have to move ahead together. We have to learn. We have to get out there into the rest of Australia and ensure that the ACT is growing at the same rate, if not better, and actually can afford to employ our young people.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Sitting suspended from 12.14 to 2.30 pm
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
Acton-Kingston Land Swap
MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I have a question for the Chief Minister, and it again relates to the Acton-Kingston land swap. Mrs Carnell, last Thursday your Attorney-General, Mr Humphries, told this Assembly:
We have entered into that contract and we are bound to the consequences of that contract.
That is a quote from Hansard. I ask the Chief Minister: What advice have you received telling you that there is a legally binding contract, and will you table that advice? If there is no such advice, why have you not sought it?
MRS CARNELL: I think it is appropriate at this stage to inform the Assembly on the status of the agreement with the Commonwealth with regard to the Acton-Kingston land swap. I have previously advised the Assembly ad infinitum that negotiations took place between the Commonwealth and the ACT in the lead-up to the Premiers Conference. On 10 April I wrote to the Prime Minister confirming that agreement; that is, the agreement for the Acton-Kingston land swap. On 11 April, in the context of the Premiers Conference, the Commonwealth agreed to the provision to the ACT of $15m in additional special revenue assistance, and also on 11 April the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mr Lee, issued a media statement announcing the land swap. In doing so, he confirmed the Commonwealth's concurrence with the description of the agreement set out in my letter of the previous day to the Prime Minister.