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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1660 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

Government, and the decisions of government ought to be reflected in the Government's budget. If that were done the books of account would show this to be a very well run and a very profitable organisation. With the structural changes that are represented in here it would be even better, and it would be even better in the hands of the public. That would guarantee the jobs of the people who are working there.

I noticed that on page 53 of the report the consultants said:

Guarantees as to employment and other quasi social contracts imposed on new owners of ACTTAB will diminish sale value to the extent that they impinge on profitability in the short to medium term.

In other words, if you say to any potential buyer, "You have to guarantee that the people currently working for the TAB retain their jobs", you push the sale price down to the point where nobody would want to buy it. But we can continue to run it under present arrangements by doing the restructuring that is recommended in here; by restructuring its capital structure, by restructuring its management structure, and by saying to it, "You pay all of your profits to the Government and the Government will make the decision about the distribution from Consolidated Revenue to all those beneficiaries who receive the money now". I see no reason why we should not take that course of action.

I was singularly unimpressed with this report, in connection with which, I notice, there is some discussion about how much we paid for it. It was suggested to me only a couple of days ago how the value of this report was worked out. Somebody said, "Well, there are 38 pages which we have stolen from the Northern Territory report, so we will just charge for the photocopying of them, and for the other 35 pages we will charge two grand a piece. That is where the $70,000 came from". I thought that was a pretty fair assessment of how the report was valued. To come back to my point, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not support the sale. I do not think that report justifies it one jot.

MR QUINLAN (4.32): Shortly after I came into this place as a fresh-faced 551/2-year-old, the Chief Minister made claims in this place that ACTTAB was not making a profit.

Ms Carnell: It is certainly not this year, is it?

Mr Berry: That is because you ripped it off.

MR QUINLAN: We did question that at the time.

Ms Carnell: No, it is because they had to pay $700,000 for VITAB.

Mr Berry: You ripped it off.

MR QUINLAN: We did question that at the time. We were given a briefing.

Mr Berry: And, again, it was your decision.

Mr Humphries: You stay out of this, Wayne. You have form on this.

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