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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 878 ..

Ms Carnell: You have not asked a question yet.

MR QUINLAN: Yes, I did. You were too busy talking. Is this or is this not nothing more or nothing less than government borrowing?

MS CARNELL: No, it is not. It has nothing to do with what Mr Quinlan is saying. In fact, I think it is appropriate to quote John Mackay, the chief executive of ACTEW. Mr Mackay said that the corporation would be delighted to buy the 67,000 streetlights - a logical move, given that ACTEW - - -

Mr Berry: Would they mind building the Belconnen pool?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Berry, you can ask about the Belconnen pool at some later time. Continue, Chief Minister.

MS CARNELL: The chief executive of ACTEW, John Mackay, said that it was a logical move, given that ACTEW already owned the power poles and maintained the lights for the Government. The sale of the streetlights was first raised last year, as everybody would know. The 1998-99 budget has the streetlight sale identified in both the - - -

Members interjected.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I do not want the Chief Minister having to shout over interjections. You will have the opportunity to ask questions. I suggest that you use it.

MS CARNELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is a bit hard to be heard. The sale of the streetlights has been identified in both the DUS and ACTEW accounts. The sale, as members would be aware, is yet to be negotiated in terms of its final position. Those opposite do not seem to understand that the board of ACTEW must be clearly satisfied that they are entering into an arrangement that will benefit ACTEW. I have to say, Mr Speaker, that they are convinced of that. The basis of that is that many electricity companies do own the streetlights, because they provide the electricity to the streetlights and the maintenance of the streetlights and obviously get a return on their capital. It is a straight business transaction. They get an income stream while they are providing the services to those streetlights. They already have all the equipment. Because they own the power poles, they have all of the equipment to maintain the streetlights - a very sensible approach and a very good way to maximise the potential of the services that they are providing.

Mr Berry: You do not believe that yourself.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, if those opposite do not believe me - and I fully accept that they do not - - -

Mr Berry: You do not even believe that yourself.

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Berry.

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