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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1060 ..


ACTEW - Financing Deals

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. On 14 April, the Chief Minister told ABC radio that people were "lining up out the door" to put proposals to the Government about the future of ACTEW, including in particular "major banks with proposed financing deals". Can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly the basis on which banks are proposing financing deals when, we understand, there are currently no proposals about ACTEW's future that require financing?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, we have gone out into the marketplace for expressions of interest after having a number of entities put proposals on the table which, as I said, I think, in a number of interviews, include securitisation and other things. They were all informal proposals, so we went out into the marketplace to seek firmer proposals. Those proposals are due by mid-May; it might be 10 or 11 May, but I will certainly get the exact date. When those proposals are in they will be assessed by ACTEW and the Government to determine how they stack up and whether they are in the best interests of the people of Canberra.

One of the things that we have made clear in those expressions of interest is that the Assembly has decided that ACTEW must stay in public ownership. That is one of the requirements in those expressions of interest. But, underneath that, we have asked people like major banks and others to look at ways where we can minimise the risk, maximise access to capital and assure the future of ACTEW.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I thank the Chief Minister for that and wonder whether the Chief Minister can give the Assembly more information on the nature of the proposed financing deals offered by the major banks and the major banks involved.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I just answered that question. I said that the initial proposals were informal proposals and that we have now sought formal proposals that are not in yet. Quite simply, people do not put proposals in, usually, until proposals close. There we are, 10 May; I was nearly right. So, they need to be in by 10 May. They will then be assessed, along with the proposed merger with Great Southern, to determine which is the best approach for ACTEW in the future. Obviously, that final decision will rest with the Assembly.

Bruce Stadium

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, could you tell me how the plans are going for the staging of the John Farnham concert next week? Are you able to tell us how many tickets have been sold?

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