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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3522 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

Treasurer, when can we expect the report on the exposure of the territory to significant financial risk from the operations of business entities to be tabled? Why were the four main entities-Actew, ActewAGL, CTEC and Totalcare-dropped from the terms of reference?

MR QUINLAN: ActewAGL was dropped from the terms of reference because it is an enterprise in which we now have only a 50 per cent interest. It is also a case of saying: "Am I going to pay for a commission of audit into a business that is quite obviously working profitably, like ActewAGL?"The answer is no, of course. It would be entirely stupid for us to-

Mr Humphries: You did originally.

MR QUINLAN: What's that?

Mr Humphries: Your commission of audit was into that issue. That is what you published.

Mr Cornwell: So, if you think things are working well, you don't have an audit? The business community will be delighted to know that.

MR QUINLAN: You want to audit ActewAGL, do you, Mr Cornwell? We will see what the risk is.

In the case of CTEC, it is largely government funded, as you know, and therefore is not an operating enterprise as such. I have already taken action in relation to CTEC and some of its activities, which, let me say, have received very positive feedback from all quarters of the tourism industry.

Totalcare has been examined directly by Treasury. It is no secret that we have enterprises within Totalcare that are not profitable, and it is quite clear to us, coming into government, that the way Totalcare was set up by the previous government was not about successful enterprise or about just introducing competition into particular activities that it is involved in. The Totalcare we inherited from the previous government, quarry included, was not in great shape. In fact, we are working directly with that.

There are many people's jobs and livelihoods involved in this. There are many people who were employed by the ACT government and who had transferred into Totalcare whose jobs are at risk. This is not a matter we are going to fix in five minutes-you can if you just close it down and give them the sack, which would suit the far right wing.

Mr Cornwell: We're talking about a commission of audit!

MR QUINLAN: We are working on the exposure of it, mate. Treasury has done a report on it, but that report needs to be worked through. I am sorry, we can't work through that and the various dimensions of it in a public forum. It just cannot be done. Sure, we want to be open and accountable, but people's jobs are involved. There are industrial negotiations involved in the operation of Totalcare.

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