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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1632 ..

Mr Berry: You should have photocopied what you wanted yourself.

MR SPEAKER: If you want to have a private conversation, would you go outside, please.

MS CARNELL: The Northern Territory paid, as I said, almost double what we paid for the report. What is most interesting about this question, Mr Speaker, is that it does not, as I understand it, attack the veracity of the report or the merits of its conclusions. All it is saying is that it might have been the same as the Northern Territory's report. Those opposite have not shown that there is anything wrong with the report, apart from the fact they do not like the outcomes. That is what you would expect from those opposite.

Mr Speaker, the Northern Territory and the ACT TABs are very similar. They are facing very similar problems. I think it would have been surprising if the reports had been absolutely at odds with each other, taking into account that the terms of reference were similar and that the problems facing the two TABs are very similar. Importantly, we paid nearly half of what the Northern Territory paid, so we have saved the taxpayer money, and the reports are different where the legislative environment is different or where the relationship between various players and the TAB is different.

MR QUINLAN: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Chief Minister now confirm that the Government has chosen the co-authors of the report on the Northern Territory TAB, ABN AMRO, as consultants for the review of ACTEW? Do you not consider that the people of Canberra deserve at least the appearance of objectivity?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, of course I announced that ABN AMRO were the successful tenderers for the ACTEW scoping study. They went through an appropriate process with many other entities. Are those opposite suggesting that we should not have picked the consultant that provided the best value for the ACT dollar? Maybe we should have chosen the most expensive tenderer. Is that what those opposite are suggesting? That is just ridiculous. Those opposite have taken a delight in suggesting that the consultants that the ACT Government have used are somehow not up to the job, and so on. They have, I think, maligned consultant companies in the ACT before today under privilege. They are doing it again. I hope that everybody who is listening to this has the same attitude to it as I do. It just shows gutlessness from those opposite.

Change of Use Charge

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. I advise that I did give Mr Smyth some warning of this question. Minister, I understand that the change of use fees under the Territory Plan are charged by taking into account a method which calculates gross floor area, or GFA. It is apparent that PALM are now utilising a method called the net lettable floor area. How can the net lettable floor area be implemented when there is no reference to this method of assessment in the Territory Plan?

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