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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3991 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

you attribute the results to CanDeliver is a matter we could have a debate about tomorrow, but the fact is that the ACT today is financially and economically in a much stronger position after 9,000 jobs were shed by the Commonwealth than it was before.

Today the private sector is stronger than ever. Growth is higher in the ACT than anywhere else in Australia; unemployment is lower than anywhere else in Australia except, I think, in the Northern Territory. Employment is at its highest level in 10 years - - -

Ms Carnell: Ever.

MR HUMPHRIES: Or ever. I think CanDeliver contributed to that. You cannot measure that in CanDeliver's bottom line, in its profit and loss statement. It was a worthwhile exercise to be engaged in, one I do not regret attempting. With the same information available to the Government and the same outlook, without the benefit of hindsight, I think we would have made the same decision again today.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, with no local blame attributed and CanDeliver having won 12 out of 20 contracts, can the Treasurer let us know his estimate of what is going to be the total cost of this exercise? What is the estimate for this year, and what is it going to cost us to wind CanDeliver up?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I cannot give Mr Quinlan a figure on that today. I understand that the subsidy we have agreed to provide in this year's budget is in the order of $1m. I imagine that if CanDeliver can sell its existing contracts to subcontractors much of that $1m - injection for equity, I think it was - will not have to be expended. How that adds up to what has already been spent I could not tell Mr Quinlan right now, but I will take that question on notice and get back to him when I have the answer.

Temporary Accommodation Allowance

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the report Ernst and Young prepared for the Government in 1997 on employee allowances stated:

Living allowances have been accepted for a period of up to 2-3 years. Beyond this period the ATO -

that is, the Australian Taxation Office -

would seek clarification as to whether the employee indeed changed permanent residences.

After receiving the Ernst and Young report, did the Chief Minister's Department seek a ruling from the ATO about the status of temporary accommodation allowance payments to the seven executives mentioned in the Canberra Times article on 1 December? Will you table a copy of any such advice, along with a copy of the Government's response to the Ernst and Young report?

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