Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2731 ..
MR QUINLAN (5.26): For the record, ACTEW has accumulated something in the order of $55m of liabilities in its balance sheet, payable to the ACT Government as income tax equivalents. It has also paid a stream of sales tax, I think in cash. Is that right?
Ms Carnell: The stream of income from sales tax flows but income tax does not.
MR QUINLAN: Those liabilities are on the balance sheet as payable to the Government. Those liabilities have been retained under accrual accounting. They have been accounted for. They have been retained by ACTEW, which obviates the need for ACTEW to borrow to perform its capital works. It therefore follows that the Territory has benefited from those moneys. They remain within the ACT government sector. If ACTEW is privatised, the new owner will pay real tax, and the tax will flow to the Federal Government. I stand by my claim.
MR CORBELL (5.28): I think what we have to understand here in this exchange that has been occurring in the chamber for the past 10 minutes is the sense of meaning that members have been trying to get into their words. For the sake of the record, if there is any confusion in the Chief Minister's mind, or indeed in any other member's mind, about the use of the words "franchise", "private contract" or "private ownership model", then I withdraw and I apologise. The point I was endeavouring to make in that interview on 2CN, a point which I will continue to endeavour to make, is that the filtration plant which has been seen as a potential area for contamination of the Sydney water supply is privately operated and privately owned.
The point I was making, and the point I will continue to make, is that the ACT Government is proposing to enter into a private contractual arrangement with a private operator to supply water to the Territory through a franchise agreement. That, I believe, will result in the real potential for the breakdown of maintenance and the effective, safe and efficient supply of the Territory's water. If the Chief Minister thinks that in some way I have misled the house, if she has some misunderstanding about the use of the terms "franchise" and "contract", then I apologise for that and withdraw those comments. The point I want to make is that a private contractual arrangement could threaten the supply of the Territory's water.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Mr Corbell! Under standing order 34, the house now stands adjourned until Tuesday, 24 November 1998, at 10.30 am.