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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3721 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

business growth in the Territory. Never under Labor did we see such a program to encourage Canberra business, yet two of its members criticise us for not doing enough to assist the business community. That is quite incredible when you think that one of the people who criticised us was Mr McMullan, who as Senator McMullan was actually the Minister for Trade. As Minister for Trade for years and years, he did zilch to help local business. Mr Wood was Minister for Planning for years and years. If he makes a decision tomorrow, it will be his first one in five years, because he was not allowed to make decisions when he was in government; yet he had the temerity yesterday, with Mr McMullan, to criticise this Government.

Next month, the third ministerial forum will take place to discuss the implementation of the Commonwealth information outsourcing program. The answer I am getting to is that slowly but surely this Government has been doing things behind the scenes in a positive way to assist business. The other mob, when they were in government, did nothing.

Mr Wood: "Slowly" is the word. You said it.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Wood says, "You said it". Of course we do things positively and behind the scenes, with no fanfare, but what do Mr Wood and Mr McMullan do? We saw them in front of Parliament House yesterday with the cameras. Having said, "Please turn up", they should have met in a phone box, because hardly anyone turned up. No-one ran the story last night. Mr Wood criticises us for doing nothing, after he did nothing in five years. Had he come to talk to Mrs Carnell and me, he would have realised that, without any fanfare, we get together with the Federal Government and we get together with the business community. They actually do turn up to the meetings that we invite them to because we know who they are. This mob opposite took four years to realise that Auspace, a company in Mitchell, was world class in providing some facilities. They did not even know Auspace existed when they were in government. Luckily, Mr Lamont found out and did something about it when he was told by us to do so. Mr Wood and Mr McMullan, please do not preach to us on how to look after the business communities.

Chief Minister's Department - Financial Statements

MR BERRY: My question is directed to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. I refer to the financial statements of the Chief Minister's Department for 1995-96. Minister, can you confirm that an audit report to management prepared for the Chief Minister's Department states that a number of discrepancies were uncovered during a stocktake, with assets totalling approximately $485,138 identified as missing? I know the Chief Minister is used to losing more money than that and that is only chickenfeed. She is used to $22.3m, $30m or whatever. Can the Chief Minister - - -

Mr De Domenico: You lost $4m in VITAB.

MR BERRY: I am glad you mention VITAB, because you handed it over to the taxpayer to pay and not to where it was supposed to be paid.

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