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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 581 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

tender outcome. To make it clear, I used the example of a worker coming out and fixing a tile which had fallen off in a bathroom and then coming out two weeks later to fix another tile that had fallen off in the bathroom, whereas what ought to have happened is that somebody should have identified the fact that the bathroom itself needed refurbishment and did a full refurbishing of the bathroom.

Extending that analogy, the person who came and fixed the tile in the bathroom under those circumstances probably did a very good job and probably would have got a very high satisfaction rate for fixing that tile and would have got a very high satisfaction rate for fixing the second tile as well-the job was well done, fitted nicely and was grouted properly-but the reality is that the tenant of that house would still feel dissatisfied because what was needed to be done was proper management of the house as a whole.

That is the issue that was causing dissatisfaction. That is the issue that caused Housing to go to tender to try to ensure that Housing was providing a better system of looking after its tenants to get better satisfaction. Of course, running parallel to that is the need for an appropriate approach to looking after a $1.4 billion-odd asset, so the total facilities management approach was the one that was adopted. Tenders were called. Housing went through an expressions of interest approach and, as it turned out, the successful tenderers-Transfield and Haden-will have that work from the middle of the year and Totalcare was not a successful tenderer. As you would be aware, Mr Stanhope, those tenders are done at arm's length from us, which is as you would expect.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. The nub of my question was whether the failure to win the contract would be seen as a vote of no confidence in Totalcare. That is why I thought the Chief Minister, as the responsible minister, would take the question. My supplementary question goes quite rightly and appropriately to that question, Mr Speaker, so I am not quite sure whether the minister for housing can answer it. My supplementary question is: what is the government's strategy for Totalcare's future? Is Totalcare likely to trade in the black in the current financial year? Will the minister responsible confirm that the government is intent on winding down Totalcare's business with a view to getting rid of it?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I will take that supplementary question. As far as the reflection of confidence in Totalcare's other business activities is concerned, I do not believe that the fact that Totalcare has lost this contract or any other recent contracts means that Totalcare is on the ropes. But what Totalcare needs to do, and this is partly in answer to the question that Mr Stanhope has just asked about what its future holds and how it deals with that situation, is to position itself with respect to a different part of the ACT market.

I have no doubt at all that Totalcare has a reasonably good future if it works on its strengths and moves less in the field of its weaknesses. By its strengths, I include things like the venture into a quarry at Williamsdale, which has been a successful venture, at least to date. I also refer to the joint venture it is currently planning with an American company for the establishment of a new incinerator at Mitchell which will have a capacity to burn off or to destroy toxic waste without any emissions at all, I am advised.

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