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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 884 ..

MS CARNELL: Do you have Budget Paper No. 4? You must have, because you are quoting from it.

Mr Corbell: No, I do not have the budget paper.

MS CARNELL: Shall we go to page 324 of Budget Paper No. 4? It looks to me that we are not planning to make a profit at all from ACTTAB. The 1997-98 estimated outcome is an operating result of minus $999,000. The last time I checked that out, that was not a profit.

MR CORBELL: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Chief Minister accept that ACTTAB is projected to continue to make a profit and a contribution to ACT coffers, despite this scary world of privatisation and the Chief Minister's best attempts to talk the asset down? Will the Chief Minister give a guarantee that ACTTAB will not be sold? If not, on what basis would she consider selling ACTTAB now it is clear that it is still profitable in an otherwise privatised market?

MS CARNELL: The operating loss projected for this year, as shown on page 324 of Budget Paper No. 4, is $999,000. That is a reduction of 180 per cent. The last time I checked, no matter how you look at it, that is a loss. But that is not the basis of our scoping ACTTAB. The reason that we are scoping the future of ACTTAB is to determine what future ACTTAB has in a market where already Victoria and New South Wales have privatised their TABs. Why would the Labor Government in New South Wales have done that? Why would a Labor government have privatised the TAB? Could it have been that they could see that in the current market the way to maximise the value of that asset and to ensure that their TAB has a future was to put it onto the market? That is not necessarily the case for the ACT, but for those opposite to suggest that they would never sell or float an asset regardless of what the market looks like is absolute rubbish. In fact, it is something that Mr Corbell is obviously totally at odds with Mr Quinlan on. Mr Quinlan has said on radio that there are times when assets need to be privatised.

Social and Community Services Award

MR WOOD: My question is to the Chief Minister. She might punch up on the laptop, or what passes for it, the words "SACS award". Chief Minister, despite some bureaucratic reassurances, I do not see in the budget papers that funding will be provided to community organisations to cover the increased costs imposed by the SACS award. In fact, Budget Paper No. 3, at page 68, states:

The Government will have to remain within its existing budget despite the implications of the SACS Award.

Chief Minister, is there additional money - that is, new money or more money, not reprioritised money - in the budget, both in health and community care and in education, to cover this award and, if there is additional money, how much?

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