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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2966 ..

MR KAINE: I merely said that I have a belief, but if the Chief Minister is offended by it I will withdraw it. My supplementary question to the Chief Minister is: Have you yet demanded the immediate repayment of at least $700,000 of that money so that the taxpayer can at least come out square on the shonky deal?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I do not think you can allow this question. As Mr Humphries just said, it is against standing order 117, which relates to imputations in questions. "Shonky deal" is about as heavy an imputation as you would ever get.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, that is a loose term.

MR KAINE: If that is a point of order, Mr Speaker, I will speak to that one too. I cannot imagine how anybody could assert that a company that took $900,000 of taxpayers' money and returned only $200,000 was not the subject of a shonky deal. The taxpayer would reasonably think so.

MR SPEAKER: I do not know whether that is the situation or not, to be perfectly honest.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, in the interests of some accuracy in this question time, I think it is appropriate to answer Mr Kaine's out-of-order questions.

MR SPEAKER: We have in the past ruled that the word "shonky" is unparliamentary.

Mr Kaine: I withdraw "shonky" and insert "questionable".

MR SPEAKER: If you withdraw "shonky", then I can allow the question.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the amount of money that had been paid to Nationwide Venue Management, acting as a subsidiary of Spotless Service Ltd, was put on the record, as Mr Kaine commented. The amount that was paid - I think even the breakdown of the amount that was paid - was given to Mr Kaine. To suggest for a moment that that information was not made available is simply not the case. In fact, that is where Mr Kaine got the figure of $770,000. It was from information I had given him, with the basic breakdown of where that was spent.

As members would be aware, the Government, Bruce Stadium Operations Pty Ltd and the Territory are very unhappy with the performance of Nationwide Venue Management, acting as a subsidiary of Spotless Services Ltd. BOPL went out to tender. It was an arm's length tender situation. Spotless Services Australia were required to do a number of things under their contract. As information that has already been made available to this Assembly would attest, they simply did not perform.

As a consequence, Bruce Operations Pty Ltd and the Territory served notice of a dispute on Spotless Services Australia on 20 September. This letter established that, under the tender, Bruce Operations Pty Ltd was in dispute with Spotless Service Australia Ltd. The dispute relates to breaches of the contract and, accordingly, no further money will be paid under the contract. Mr Kaine will be aware that the contract was a $1.8m contract, not a $900,000 contract. It is proposed that the entities enter into formal mediation in order to resolve the issues of the dispute. That is required under the contract.

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