Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (27 May) . . Page.. 641 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Mr Speaker, to try to make it simple for Mr Berry, maybe the thing that we have to do in this case is to find out, first and foremost, what it would cost to operate a Belconnen pool without a government subsidy. Once we have determined what it would cost without a government subsidy, then we have to determine what would be the CSO to bring down the costs to be competitive with other pools and to ensure that people who need access to the pool can get it.
Mr Humphries: It varies with the size of the pool.
MS CARNELL: It does vary with the size of the pool and the sorts of services that will be available. Once we have determined what will be the cost to the whole of the Canberra community to provide this service, the next step is to determine whether there is then a community benefit to the whole of the community. That is the basis of the process. Obviously, any full or detailed financial study will be based upon such things as the cost of building on the site - I do not think it has actually been completed yet - the overall cost of management, ongoing costs, and all those sorts of things; in other words, what it will cost the taxpayer, not just to build the facility, but to run a facility of this type. Then a decision can be made on whether there is a community benefit.
MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question. I understand all parts of "no". I take it that the Chief Minister has said no. Will the Chief Minister give an undertaking - an unequivocal undertaking this time, if we can get one - that the terms of reference for the study will be made public before the contract for the feasibility study is put out to tender; that they will include a reference to re-examine the issue of public benefit; that the tender will indeed be put out publicly; and that a process of public consultation will be put into place?
MS CARNELL: Yes.
MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mrs Carnell. Yesterday, when I asked Mrs Carnell a question about the processes the Government undertook before applying competitive neutrality principles to government business activities, Mrs Carnell initially said that Cabinet had not made that decision, and so there could not have been any processes. After question time, she acknowledged that, indeed, the ACT Government does have a policy of applying the competitive neutrality principles to all government activities. My question today is: If Cabinet did not make the decision to extend the application of the competition principles agreement, can you please tell us, Chief Minister, who did make this decision to apply competitive neutrality principles to all government business activities; what processes were followed; when this decision was made; and whether the Competition Policy Forum was advised of this decision?