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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2021 ..

MRS CROSS: This is again to the charming Mr Quinlan. Have you approached TransACT to see if they can-

MR SPEAKER: Order! If you are going to direct questions to Mr Quinlan and you want me to acknowledge your entitlement to ask questions-

Mr Quinlan: I have no objection to being called charming!

MR SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan says he has no objection to being called charming, but I am not quite sure that that is what you meant. If you use Mr Quinlan's proper name or title, it will be much nicer.

MRS CROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker-you are absolutely right. Thank you for your guidance.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, this is for Mr Quinlan. Have you approached TransACT to see if they can provide those who live in the northern areas of Canberra with the types of services they should expect from a communications company, and, if so, what was the result?

MR QUINLAN: During the many discussions I had with either TransACT or its chief executive over the position it was in and the latest financial package it has successfully put together, I discussed in some detail their business plan, as one does.

Mr Stanhope and I, through Actew, are representative shareholders and therefore have a responsibility there. In exercising that responsibility, I looked at their business plan. I cannot recite it to you. I cannot say "the big red bit at the top, which was Gungahlin" or "the green bit", or whatever colour it was. It had a year written in it. I cannot remember exactly what year it was, but certainly TransACT has a phased business plan for the connection of Canberra.

I think it is relevant to say that that phased business plan is about doing something in a sensible, managed way. If it goes too quickly, it is going to outpace its capacity to generate revenue and it is going to need investment of such an order that the interest it accrues from that will kill the business. It has a business plan-a business plan that has been examined by the Commonwealth Bank. It has been examined by independent agents exercising the due diligence associated with the latest finance package.

It would be nice if we could reach every house. It would be nice if they could get to my place. I am in Weston-and they are in Weston. But I happen to be in an area that is undergrounded. It will be a long time before they get to me. I understand that, because there is a huge investment going into this system. It is unfortunate, but it is going to have to be done in a phased manner. They cannot go out tomorrow and hook up the whole town.

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