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Australian Stock Exchange

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. I refer her to the recent failure by her and her Government to gain for the Territory part of the operation of the Australian Stock Exchange which it was actively seeking to locate outside of Sydney. I ask Mrs Carnell: On what date was the ACT Government approached by the Australian Stock Exchange? Is it true that that approach was made two weeks before it approached the Queensland Government? Did that offer include a proposal for 50 jobs, as was subsequently given to Queensland? Did it also include a guarantee of $400,000 to the ACT to ensure that there was, in effect, no loss of revenue to the Territory during the first year of operation?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, interestingly, this Government does not enter into agreements with any entity, whether it be the Stock Exchange or anyone else, before an offer has been made. The fact is that no final offer has been made by the Australian Stock Exchange to the ACT Government. Certainly, there has been one meeting with me and there have been some discussions with Treasury, but no final offer has been made to the ACT Government. We are still engaged in negotiations with the Australian Stock Exchange and we are certainly hoping for a final offer to be put to the ACT Government in the next few days. We are certainly hopeful that, on the basis of that offer, we will be able to continue negotiations. So, our record is unlike that of the previous Government. Its only real dabbling in the contract area was in respect of VITAB, and we all know what happened to that. I wonder whether Ms Follett believes that this is more money for jam.

MS FOLLETT: Given that Mrs Carnell has answered not a single part of the question that I asked, Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. What is the proposal that is “under negotiation”; will Mrs Carnell table that proposal, if and when she ever gets one; or is it the case that Queensland has pre-empted the ACT and has already done the deal?

MRS CARNELL: It is extremely hard to table a proposal that you do not have. As much as I would like to, it is extremely difficult to do that. On the basis that we do not actually have a proposal from the Australian Stock Exchange at this stage, I cannot table it. As I said, we have had discussions. No final proposal from the Australian Stock Exchange has been forthcoming. I certainly hope that that does happen in the next few days. Certainly, it appears that Queensland received an offer from the Australian Stock Exchange before we did. We were very disappointed by that. But we do not have a final proposal that I could table if I wanted to.

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