Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 520 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
So, we do have some very big decisions to make in this place about whether we are willing to take those sorts of risks; about whether we are willing to risk our biggest single asset; and about which direction we might take when all the information is on the table. It would be wrong to make any prejudgments on this, because it is a complicated area. It is an area that has many pitfalls, but also many benefits. I think that means that we all should wait - unfortunately, it appears that some have not waited - for the results of the scoping study to see what we are really talking about here for ACTEW and for its future.
The other single issue that interested me was that, for the first time, I heard those opposite talk about ACTEW becoming more efficient. I could not agree with that more. But every time there seems to be any effort to do so with ACTEW, in terms of restructuring the organisation, it is those opposite that are yelling and screaming. They are yelling and screaming about restructuring, about getting the structure more in line with that of the private sector competitors. It is interesting to note, Mr Speaker, in terms of the number of people who work, say, not just for ACTEW Electricity, but for ACTEW generally, that even our competitors over the border owned by the New South Wales Government have a significantly lower staff ratio than we do in the ACT.
So, either way here, Mr Speaker, the decisions with regard to jobs and who employs those people are going to be very real ones. I do not believe that we have a capacity to maintain the current situation. I was very pleased to hear those opposite indicate that they accepted now that we could not afford to have a fat or inefficient organisation. I am pleased that I will not be hearing those sorts of complaints as ACTEW goes into a quite significant restructuring in an effort to make sure that its structure is competitive with those of its private sector competitors and also, of course, its public sector competitors.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Ms Carnell) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MR BERRY (5.15): This morning, Mr Moore said that he was new in health and that he expected to get the problems under control by next week. I am sure that he was joking; but we will wait and see. Mr Moore has inherited some issues. Many of them have to do with the Government's obsession with the private sector. That has, of course, impacted on the delivery of health services in the Territory. I trust that he will move to address those issues as time passes. I suspect that he will not be able to get them all sorted out by next week.