Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 64 ..
MS CARNELL: I can certainly say that I have not, as Chief Minister and as the responsible Minister.
Mr Corbell: What about your Government?
MS CARNELL: My Government? Not to my knowledge. Has anyone had discussions? Let us have a quick run over the target.
Mr Humphries: No.
MS CARNELL: This is my Government. I am just making sure that no-one here has.
Mr Osborne: Michael, who have you been talking to?
MS CARNELL: I do not think Mr Moore has been here long enough. On that basis, on a quick run over the target, no, we have not had discussions with anybody with regard to the sale of ACTTAB. As you know and as I announced last week, we have brought on board consultants, PKF Consulting Australia, who have been commissioned to undertake a detailed review of the future structure and operation of ACTTAB.
Mr Speaker, we know from the reaction of those opposite when they were in government - and it is no wonder they lost - that their general view of government was to do nothing, sit on their hands and hope that it would go away. Unfortunately, all that went away was government for those opposite - and it is not surprising, I have to say. Mr Speaker, with regard to ACTTAB now, as we know, their colleagues over the border are in the process of a float. It amuses me that again those opposite somehow think that a float is not a sale. We know that a float is a sale, Mr Speaker. Of course, if it is not a sale, then no-one is selling Telstra either.
Mr Speaker, the Labor Government in New South Wales is currently going down the path of a float. The Victorian Government has already sold its TAB, Mr Speaker. The Queensland Government has announced that it is going down the same path. The Northern Territory Government has announced that it is going down the same path. I understand that other announcements from other States are imminent, Mr Speaker. What we could do is what those opposite would do, and that is to do nothing, and end up with nothing. What nothing means is no jobs, no business, no nothing, Mr Speaker. I have to say that I think that is bad government. I think that, if we did that, all we would be doing would be throwing an asset - but, most importantly, a business that employs in the ACT - straight onto the scrap heap. As long as I am in this job, we will not do that.
MR CORBELL: I would like to ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. It sounds as though the Chief Minister has already made up her mind. How does the Chief Minister explain, then, in the light of her flippant response, the fact that an officer of her department, from the Office of Financial Management, has indicated to a member of this place that expressions of interest have been sought from Tabcorp and the New South Wales TAB?