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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1062 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

things, and unfortunately have had to cancel the concert simply due to a lack of ticket sales. So, any view that this cancellation of the concert in any way impacted upon the Territory or, for that matter, the stadium financially is simply incorrect.

Mr Osborne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question was: What have they done? Have they sold the naming rights? Have they sold any boxes? That was the question that I asked as a supplementary, Mr Speaker, and the Chief Minister ignored it.

MR SPEAKER: As members would be aware, Ministers answer questions as they see fit.

ACTEW - Proposed Merger

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to the Chief Minister, who, I might add, threw in the rhetorical interjection about a year ago in an ACTEW debate, "Is a merger not a sale?" - page 169 of Hansard of 29 April 1998.

MR SPEAKER: I trust this profundity will be followed by a question, Mr Quinlan.

MR QUINLAN: I did not want to get back to leases and blocks, customers and sites, and stuff like that, but we do have a differentiation problem from time to time.

Mr Hird: Where is the question?

MR QUINLAN: Coming, coming. Great Southern Energy, ACTEW's potential merger partner, managed and operated water reticulation networks in part of its geographical base area for the first years of its existence. By direction of the responsible government Minister, the water business was passed out of the control of Great Southern Energy at the end of 1996. Does the Chief Minister consider that it is logical to consider electricity individually, apart from water and sewerage, before attempting to enter into a merger, which could be a sale, with an enterprise that has no water and sewerage operations?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I do not know how often I will have to answer this question, but I am happy to do it lots of times. Mr Speaker, we have a working party looking at whether a merger between Great Southern and ACTEW is a goer. At the moment it is in its very early days. The terms of reference of that working party are currently being formulated and put together. Work will continue, in cooperation with the New South Wales Labor Government, on a merger of all, part or whatever we are talking about of the entities. Remember, Great Southern does have gas, which we do not have. They also have a number of other rather unique facilities, such as a wind generator, which we do not have. There are a number of things that Great Southern have that we do not have and a number of things we have that they do not have, which makes a potential merger of water, sewerage, electricity, wind generators, gas - in other words, a broad-ranging approach to utilities - - -

Mr Hird: A good range of product.

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