Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4138 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, as I have said, we do not have much option but to wind up CanDeliver because, if we do not, it is going to continue to cost us $1m a year. I would ask the Minister to give us an undertaking that he will eventually put on the table a statement of the total cost. All we know so far is that in each of the last two years there has been a so-called capital injection which has been written off. By the Government's own admission, they do not know yet what the total bill is going to be because they have not got all the bills in yet. So, in supporting the motion that CanDeliver be wound up, I would like an undertaking. I would like to know at the end of the day what the total cost to the taxpayer is going to be, not just what the figure is today or yesterday but the total cost when it is all wound up.
MS TUCKER (4.53): The Greens will not be opposing this motion either, because obviously - - -
Mr Berry: There is only one of you. Where is the other one?
Mr Osborne: Trevor, have you joined the Greens? Where is the other Green?
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! The Green member, Ms Tucker, has the call.
MS TUCKER: I do not usually mind interjections, but this was so loud I could not talk over it.
Mr Osborne: I take a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. I think Mr Kaine has something to tell us. I seek leave to give Mr Kaine as much time as he wants to tell us about his future plans for the United Canberra Party.
Mr Kaine: Let me say, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, that there is nothing between me and Ms Tucker.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Osborne, resume your seat. Mr Kaine, resume your seat.
MS TUCKER: As I said, we will not be opposing this motion because there is obviously not much point in trying to keep afloat a business that is failing. The Government has invested $1.85m in CanDeliver, and this comprises a loan of $850,000 given to CanDeliver when it was established, which was subsequently written off, and a $1m government contribution in the last budget. CanDeliver's 1998-99 annual report stated that as at 30 June this year the company had accumulated losses of over $900,000. However, it has to be pointed out that this failure is also a failure of Liberal Party ideology.
Let us go back and look at why CanDeliver was established. It was established as a reaction to the Federal Liberal Government's agenda to outsource government functions. The application of this market mechanism to government operations was initiated in the belief that the Government would achieve efficiency gains, that is, cut costs, while maintaining or even increasing service levels. It is therefore quite