Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3356 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

committed the lion's share of the additional investment, can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly whether the additional investment in TransACT represents any increase in the overall value of the enterprise?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Quinlan has asked me, as he indicated earlier in question time today, for a statement on the position of TransACT at the present time. I have indicated to him that I am proposing to do that. I will do that after question time today. Issues of that kind are going to be covered in that statement.

I do not know whether an increase in investment results in an increase in the value of the asset. It is quite possible that it does not, given that there is an increase, an escalation, in the cost of the rollout, which is not necessarily resulting in an increase in the value of the asset. Fortunately, if you put more money into the purchase of the asset it does not mean that the asset is necessarily worth any more. It would be nice if it did, but it does not necessarily follow.

However, I would like to think that we did secure an existing asset of great value to this territory, an asset which we on this side of the chamber are quite prepared to support and continue to talk up, not talk down, and are prepared to make sure continues to be a harbinger of great promise for this community.

It seems to me that Mr Quinlan is running with the hares and hunting with the hounds at the moment, saying that he is very much in favour TransACT and that they support TransACT because it is a wonderful institution, but being prepared at the same time to talk it down in a very obvious way in things he says in the public arena. He said, for example, on radio today in a 2CC program:

Everyone, I think nearly everybody, in Canberra have heard rumours weeks and weeks ago about additional funds going into TransACT and there was speculation in the media about meetings and international phone hook-ups and cabinet meetings, et cetera.

There are no rumours or conspiratorial types of cloak-and-dagger meetings going on. The meetings that took place were reported duly in the media because we told the media about them. Suggestions that things were happening secretly behind closed doors and were designed to keep the public in the dark are the kinds of comments about which Mr Quinlan will hold his hand over his heart and say, "These are not intended to do any damage to TransACT." But in fact they do exactly that. They require a succession of headlines in newspapers which can only have the effect of securing further doubt about TransACT's position.

No enterprise is free of doubt, particularly not one that operates in a field like telecommunications. It has an element of doubt, an element of risk, about it. But we believe TransACT has the potential to be of enormous importance to this territory, and we will work to make sure that that is the fact; that we deliver on that potential.

Finally, Mr Quinlan said in his answer today that the story broke in the Canberra Times the day after I was advised of a decision by the committee to publish the in-camera proceedings. For his benefit, I was not advised on that day. He made a decision on that

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .