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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1631 ..

MS CARNELL: They are not even interested, Mr Speaker. They are relatively small players who are dependent upon pooling arrangements with a much bigger player to ensure that they can offer punters a competitive gambling product. The Northern Territory TAB is linked to the Tabcorp pool through ACTTAB. You have two very small TABs, both linked to the same major TAB, Tabcorp. The Northern Territory TAB, via us, is linked into Tabcorp. Both TABs face exactly the same issues arising from threats from other gambling products and the emergence of Internet gambling.

The Northern Territory and the ACT governments had similar concerns and this led to similar terms of reference. Have those opposite got that? They had similar terms of reference because the problems were the same, caused by that nasty Labor Government in New South Wales flogging their TAB. Given the very similar positions of the two TABs, it is not surprising that on a number of issues the consultants reached identical conclusions.

Mr Stanhope: With identical words.

Mr Berry: Why are we paying for photocopies?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I have a sore throat and it is really hard to yell.

MR SPEAKER: Order! We are not going to have the Chief Minister shouting over interjections.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, what is clear is that where the issues and circumstances are different the reports are different. I say that again. It is clear that where the issues and the circumstances are different the reports are different. These differences - including the different structures and legislative environments in which the two TABs operate, the different contractual arrangements that they have with third parties, and their individual financial positions and relationships with their respective governments and racing industries - are amongst the most important issues that the scoping studies were required to look at, and these are the areas where there are differences in the reports. Mr Speaker, public comments by the union and, by the way, those opposite imply that ACT taxpayers were ripped off, that somehow - - -

Mr Berry: I think that is fair.

Mr Stanhope: That is fair comment.

MS CARNELL: Mr Berry says, "Fair comment". The opposite is true. The ACT has benefited from the early work done by PKF. The earlier work had increased the consultant's obvious expertise in the area and resulted in the cost of the study to the ACT, being - wait for this - about half the amount that the Northern Territory paid for the review of its TAB. Not only are those opposite wrong, but the reports are different in areas where our TABs are different and the same where the problems are identical. We did not pay for the same work twice. PKF did not get paid by us and paid by the Northern Territory. Quite the contrary. The ACT ended up paying very close to half of what - - -

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