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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2243 ..

MR QUINLAN: Then convince an independent umpire that a cash business like a stadium needs $5m worth of working capital. You have to cover some of the other commitments. The deceptions that we talked about on Wednesday still continue. When you get up, please tell us what you are going to do and why this particular operation, a cash business - tickets through the turnstile - requires $5m of working capital. We would love to know. It is necessary to know that - - -

Ms Carnell: But it is not in this Bill.

MR QUINLAN: But it is consequential. This Bill goes hand in glove with an amendment to the appropriations - - -

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, I think Mr Quinlan is reflecting on a vote of the house. I think he might like to - - -

MR SPEAKER: Be careful, Mr Quinlan. Do not reflect on a vote of the house.

MR QUINLAN: As we are now required to appropriate retrospectively something like $24m, all I ask the Government to tell us is how we got in this hole in the first place. How do you spend a couple of million dollars on marketing when there is nothing to market? What is the bottom line and why do you need $5m worth of working capital for a high cash flow business?

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (10.51): I simply want to reiterate what has been so well and sensibly put by my colleague.

Mr Humphries: Obviously not well enough; otherwise, you would not need to say it, would you?

MR STANHOPE: There is more to add. It is a pity that the Labor Party is not in a position to support this Bill, but we made our position quite clear on it. We said that if the Government was not prepared to provide to us all the information that it has available to it in relation to Bruce Stadium then it could not expect us to support a piece of legislation to retrospectively approve moneys that were expended unlawfully. It is simply not acceptable to us that the Government should come in here with a Bill in effect begging the Assembly to retrospectively appropriate funds that were expended without the authority of the Assembly. In other words, the funds were expended unlawfully - not in some trifling way but in a fundamental way. It is a very significant matter.

For us to rectify that particular deficiency which occurred as a result of this Government's failings, it requires them to come to us with a clean slate. They have not. We did not receive all the documents. A whole swag of documents were not provided to us, on the basis that they were commercial-in-confidence. They are relevant to the deal that has been done in relation to Bruce. They are relevant to the factors that led to the unlawful behaviour. Everything is connected to everything else in a deal like this. It is relevant for us to know why the business plan failed so abysmally and why, as the consequence of the failure of the business plan, this whole chain of events which led to the unlawful behaviour and to the unlawful expenditure of taxpayers' moneys was created.

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