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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4136 ..

MR QUINLAN (4.43): Mr Speaker, the Opposition will be supporting this motion. I have to say, though, in passing, that CanDeliver fits under the heading "It seemed like a good idea at the time". That might be part of this Government's epitaph - "It seemed like a good idea at the time". The implosion seemed like a good idea at the time, the futsal slab seemed like a good idea at the time, Feel the Power seemed like a good idea at the time, Kinlyside seemed like a good idea at the time, Bruce Stadium seemed like a good idea at the time. Just add CanDeliver.

One of the things that need to be observed is the philosophy. While CanDeliver was set up, under the philosophy explained by the Treasurer, in order that local firms would not be blown out of the water by the large corporate players, we were providing business incentive to the corporate players so that, in fact, CanDeliver was set up and then set to compete against such firms as Fujitsu which was also receiving support from the Government.

I have had a look at the review and I have had a relook at the annual statements of CanDeliver. Under the modern presentation of statements, details of expenditure and details of profit and loss statements quite often are not included. I would ask the Treasurer, when closing this debate, whether he could explain how an organisation like CanDeliver, with only a couple of people effectively, and which is really an agent, can somehow lose $700,000 and $800,000 in a year. How do you do that in that time when you are just paying a couple of people? Were we again farming out work to consultants or what? This is just not clear by the statements, and I looked.

I agree with the Treasurer that we need to be careful about how we back out of the contracts that CanDeliver is in now so as to minimise further expense on the part of the Territory and at the same time be satisfied that it will not harm any of those smaller firms that have been drawn into contracts that are there.

I noticed in the review that there was an intention, or at least a recommendation, that we might assign business support services, or whatever the term is, to Relcorp Management Services who seem to be doing it now. I do not know who they are. They are not in the phone book. You might at least assure the Assembly that we are getting the best value for that, that that is a reliable process, and that the harm will be minimised. Otherwise, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, we will support the Government's motion.

MR KAINE (4.47): I feel obliged to some degree to echo the comments made by Mr Quinlan. We do not have much option but to agree with the Government's proposal. CanDeliver is going nowhere. I do not think it ever was going anywhere, and it has come to the end of the line. The Minister has to come in and justify his position, so he comes in and he says, "Well, was it a good idea?". "Yes, it was a good idea". "Was it a good idea badly executed?". "No, of course not. It was a good idea but we will execute it". "Was it a success?". "Yes, it was a success". So the Minister poses his own questions and provides his own answers.

I think the Minister is probably the only person in the whole of Canberra who thinks that his answers to those questions are the right ones. When you look at the outcomes, it is another couple of million dollars worth of public money; but we know that that is irrelevant these days - a couple of million dollars of public money, no worries.

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