Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 65 ..
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I cannot mind-read what members or public servants may or may not have done; but I know that, if that has happened, it certainly has happened without my authority. I just know that that is not the case. We have not sought expressions of interest from anybody for the sale of ACTTAB. Why would we do that when we have just gone down the path of putting on consultants to give us a view of what the future structure and operations of the TAB will look like?
Mr Speaker, this is a very real issue. Those opposite do not seem to think so. Mr Speaker, as we know, TABs in other States have rolled significant, say, poker machines into their TAB operations. Mr Speaker, we have already gone down the path of bringing Club Keno into ours. We also know, Mr Speaker, that the straight, traditional TAB operations of TABs - meaning horseracing and, I suppose, trots and greyhounds - are not the areas from which the TABs that we are talking about are actually generating their profits.
Mr Speaker, we have more problems than just having an industry that is privatising quickly around Australia. We also have an industry that is changing significantly in its structure around Australia, whether it be in public or private ownership. Mr Speaker, I think these are important issues. They are certainly important to the people who are employed by our TAB here. They are important to the Government. The only people they are not important to are those opposite.
MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. No, it is not. I just felt a bit sorry for him, Mr Speaker. No-one has asked him a question.
Ms Carnell: He has been Minister for only a couple of hours.
Mr Moore: Come on, come on!
MR OSBORNE: I know how nervous he is, Mr Speaker, sitting there, knowing what he has put Ministers through for the last nine years.
Mr Speaker, my question, which is to the Chief Minister, is on a serious note. It is regarding the use of the MBA training fund. I did warn Mrs Carnell that I was looking for some figures on this. Chief Minister, the legislation establishing the MBA training fund was introduced by your former Minister Mr De Domenico and passed by the last Assembly in November 1996. As you will recall, and for the information of new members, the $1m fund was set up by taking $300,000 from the building industry long service leave levy fund, with the rest coming from within the building industry, for the purpose of training and employing 150 apprentices. Just remember that figure of 150 apprentices. At the time, Chief Minister, I was persuaded to support the legislation, in no small part, by you and Mr De Domenico both continually assuring the Assembly that the 150 jobs would be provided straightaway. You said at the time that the Government would not sit on its hands over using the fund, but would ensure that the apprentice positions would be available "right now - not in 12 months' time, not when the