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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3159 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

the figure. If I have a more precise answer, I will give it to you, Mr Kaine, and to others who are interested. I do not believe that figure is yet available.

MR KAINE: Chief Minister, are you asserting that you have not been given a more precise figure by the management of Actew or TransACT, or are you asserting that if they did tell you you have forgotten?

MR HUMPHRIES: That is an inference, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, there is an inference there-in the latter question, anyway.

MR HUMPHRIES: I have had lots of advice about TransACT over the last few years. I do not recall any advice that was more specific than the $200 million which I have mentioned in this place several times.

Impulse Airlines

MR CORBELL: My question is also to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the Commonwealth government has come to an agreement with Impulse Airlines over the Newcastle call centre and the claims that workers can now return to secure jobs. The Commonwealth claims that that agreement will ensure that job targets promised for the Newcastle call centre by Impulse will be met.

Can you tell the Assembly the status of the ACT government's negotiations on the call centre in Canberra, the heavy maintenance facility and the numerous other commitments that Impulse made to Canberra in return for our $10 million incentive package?

MR HUMPHRIES: Members are aware that the arrangement made with Impulse Airlines was that a sum of money was provided to Impulse and that Impulse in return were to deliver on a number of growth milestones in the ACT context. The milestones have been laid on the table before. They include regional operational headquarters and facilities, a heavy maintenance and engineering facility, a national reservations and call centre and regional air routes. They are the four main areas covered by those milestones, and there are a number of milestones within each of those categories. They represent the basis on which the government's provision of assistance to Impulse will be confirmed.

Money has been provided to Impulse on the basis of a loan, and that money will be returned to the government if the milestones are not delivered upon satisfactorily. Since Impulse Airlines entered into an arrangement with Qantas, the ACT government has had a series of discussions with both Impulse and Qantas, which have resulted in an assessment by Qantas of the extent to which they will stand in the place of Impulse for the commitments that Impulse has made.

The Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts met with Impulse on 10 May and with Qantas on 11 May to discuss if and how the elements of the agreement will be met. Mr McGowan of Impulse Airlines stated that Impulse intends to honour its agreements with the ACT, Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments. Qantas advised that it wished to see Impulse meet its obligations and is currently reviewing the situation.

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