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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (3 December) . . Page.. 4307 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

If we were to use Mr Wood's form of logic, the ACT Government would not use Qantas as its preferred airline, given that Qantas is a small firm operating out of Longreach, Queensland, not a company likely to employ locals. By Mr Wood's reasoning, BHP is a small mining firm from Broken Hill. Perhaps it is fortunate for P&O that Mr Wood was the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning and in the former Follett Government and not the Minister for Sport, because otherwise P&O's successful contract to provide catering services for Bruce Stadium, made under the Follett Government, by the way, may well have been overturned on the ground that it was not a local company.

Mr Wood sticks his head up only once or twice a year, we know. Is it any wonder, Mr Speaker? A few weeks ago it was the dynamic duo, Mr Wood and Mr McMullan, who finally came to the conclusion - most of us had reached it six months ago, by the way - that there are potentially some problems facing Canberra as a result of Commonwealth Government downsizing. Mrs Carnell and I and others have been saying that for months and months. They called on the ACT Government to do something about it. Ironically, this was on the same day that the Carnell Government announced the establishment of the Supplier Development Committee - a joint government and industry initiative designed specifically to assist regional firms to position themselves to benefit from outsourcing opportunities.

My advice to Mr Wood and to his colleagues is to abandon that empty vessel known as the "SS Whitecross" - some people do not know who it is; it is going down faster than the Titanic, I might say - and spend Christmas taking a long cruise on the Fairstar. While you do that, this Government will continue to find jobs for Canberrans. We will continue to identify opportunities such as the Unisys millenium project, the Kingston foreshore development project and the upgrading of the FAI Canberra Rally to international status, and we will continue to work in close cooperation with the business community in ensuring the future viability of this region. Finally, Mr Speaker, I hope that thousands and thousands of P&Os come into this town. If they are all going to employ 850 people, I do not care whether they are owned here in Australia, in Mogadishu or anywhere else. As long as they are employing, as P&O does, 850 people in this region, welcome. Canberra is open for business.

Truck Parking Areas

MS HORODNY: My question is directed to the Minister for Urban Services. I was interested to see the Government ad in the Canberra Times last Saturday calling for expressions of interest from potential operators of heavy vehicle parking areas for the purchase of sites in Hume and Mitchell. I congratulate the Government on this initiative. Could you tell me whether you can guarantee that these truck parking areas will be up and running before your legislation to restrict truck parking in residential areas comes into effect, assuming that it is passed by the Assembly; otherwise we could face the situation of some trucks being banned but having nowhere to park?

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