Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 468 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
I have a distinct memory that certain of the terms of reference were circulated. Maybe I made a mistake and all three were not, but I would have to check that. I table all three sets of terms of reference now. I present the following papers:
Disability Reform Group-Terms of Reference
Health and Community Care System Organisational Arrangements-Government review-Copy of media release together with terms of reference, dated 1 February 2002 for release.
Office of Disability and Disability Reform Group-Engagement of Anne Cross as Independent expert adviser-Terms of Reference.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer bring the house up to date with respect to the operations of the Williamsdale quarry?
MR QUINLAN: Members would be aware that considerable difficulties have been experienced at the quarry virtually since the beginning. There have been a series of issues, Mr Speaker, quite often pointed up by your good self during the previous Assembly. However, I think it is sufficient to say that the quarry has become just another example of the star-crossed relationship that the previous government seemed to have with business. I think that it even got to the point of defying the law of averages. You would have reckoned that it would get just one right by sheer luck. But I have to advise that the quarry has not gone well.
I can advise the Assembly that in December the Totalcare board took the decision to cease funding the quarry. This reflected the board's view that the most commercially responsible path was to cease absorbing the losses that had been incurred at the quarry. I requested an investigation to be conducted into the operations of the quarry to enable the government-more particularly, the shareholders, Mr Stanhope and me in our respective positions-to be brought up to date and have a thorough knowledge of the status of the quarry and the options that might be available. That report was received by my office a short time ago.
Following the receipt of that report, I can advise the Assembly that the shareholders-the Chief Minister and I-have decided not to issue any instructions to the board of Totalcare with respect to the quarry; in effect, to accept the decision and to allow the board of Totalcare to make sensible commercial decisions with respect to the quarry. If that means that the board decides to cease funding, then the government will not countermand that decision.
MR HARGREAVES: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Can the minister advise the house of the future of the quarry?
MR QUINLAN: At this stage, that is an unknown quantity. Obviously, we have had discussions and Totalcare will be doing everything it can to ensure that the financial loss inflicted on the territory by another Liberal example of how not to do something-