Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 426 ..



For the interests of members, I table the Central Financing Unit's operational handbook and procedures manual on arbitrage trading transactions. It is important to remember that arbitrage transactions are reported regularly in financial statements in the ACT and have been for many years. They would be secret only to those people who do not bother reading our financial statements. Of course, they are audited along with other ACT accounts. The Auditor-General gets to have a look at this approach as well.

MR OSBORNE: I think you have answered my supplementary question, Ms Carnell, but I missed it. Are you going to table some operational guidelines or regulations that it operates under?

Ms Carnell: Yes, I am happy to do so.

MR OSBORNE: Thank you. Has this program ever been reviewed? If so, when, by whom and at what cost?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, there are those guidelines. I am not sure whether we had an independent review of the approach, but the Auditor-General has a regular look at our arbitrage transactions. They are part of our financial accounts. That ensures that the approach we are taking is totally safe. Again, this is something that was used by the previous Labor Government and is used by other governments in Australia. It was reviewed in 1995 by Bankers Trust.

Cleaning Contract

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Over the weekend the Minister announced for the Monday media that a Melbourne-based company had won the contract to clean and maintain the Woden and Weston public areas. Apparently this company can provide the services for $500,000 less than the amount the Government had budgeted. The contract amount, I believe, was $1.9m, whereas the budgeted amount was $2.4m. This means a drop of 20 per cent and, if one takes into account the amount of company profit going interstate and the cost of setting up business here in the ACT, it is much greater than the 20 per cent less actual service provision cost. Minister, how can you guarantee that the same or better service can be provided for more than 20 per cent less than last year, and are the 24 staff boasted about by your spokesperson in the media today full-time, casual or part-time staff?

MR SMYTH: The contract has gone to a firm called Excell from Melbourne. Excell Corporation apparently provides similar sorts of services all around Australia. I understand that they have contracts in Brisbane and certainly in Melbourne, and their record on employing local people is quite excellent. They have promised to engage some 24 permanent employees, and they believe that 20 of those will be Canberrans. They will obviously bring some expertise from interstate. They have also said that where necessary they will employ casuals. Can they deliver the service? Their record would indicate that they can. The excellence of their tender certainly indicated that they have the expertise and the experience to do so, and I am looking forward to saving taxpayers' dollars and ensuring they get the sort of service delivery they deserve.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .