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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 582 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Those sorts of ventures are ones where Totalcare is not relying on a work force which is operating in conditions which are substantially different from those of its private sector competitors. It is operating in a field where it has few, if any, competitors, where it can do very well by virtue of the use of technology and the leveraging of its present position. That, Mr Speaker, is the approach that I, as a shareholder in Totalcare, will be expecting the Totalcare organisation to be heading towards as it deals with these sorts of problems.

Will Totalcare trade in the black for the rest of this year? Totalcare has always been a body which has had to be subsidised, in effect, by the government. As I recall, it has not returned a dividend for some time. I do not expect that situation to change in the immediate future, but I am satisfied that the members of the Totalcare board, after discussions between me and them over the last few months, are aware of the challenge which the loss of this contract poses to them and are suitably developing strategies to ensure that risks of this kind are minimised in the future.

Commonwealth Grants Commission

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I direct my question to the Treasurer, Mr Humphries. Can the Treasurer confirm that, as a result of Commonwealth Grants Commission recommendations, the ACT will receive an extra $4.6 million in revenue from the Commonwealth? Can the Treasurer please inform the Assembly whether this amount is correct and, more importantly, whether it will add to the budget surplus for 2001-02 already announced?

Mr Hird: A good question.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mrs Burke for that question. It is a good question. Mr Speaker, it is true that the Commonwealth Grants Commission report State Revenue Sharing Relativities-2001 Update has recommended for the ACT an ongoing increase, a net increase, of $4.6 million.

Mr Quinlan: Over what?

MR HUMPHRIES: Over what we had been getting before. That is the net position.

Mr Quinlan: In what document?

MR HUMPHRIES: Over 2000; what we got from the Grants Commission recommendation in 2000.

Mr Quinlan: Over the prevailing budget this financial year?

MR HUMPHRIES: No. To alleviate Mr Quinlan's confusion, if it translates into a Commonwealth government decision, which is a big if, it amounts to a $4.6 million increase in the ACT government's budget base; that is, it is a future continuous improvement in our budget base.

Mr Quinlan: And the budget base was set when?

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