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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3691 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

The Audit view is that there is no possibility of the AIHS generating profits on the current basis of its operations. The ability of the AIHS to continue operating depends solely on Government support.

The report of the Australian International Hotel School for 2001-02 indicates that the accumulated loss in 2002 was $12.5 million while the accumulated loss in 2000-01 was $20.6 million. In an earlier debate, namely, the debate on the report entitled Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 7 of 2002: Financial audits with years ending to 30 June 2002, the Public Accounts Committee was aware that the government announced that no further funding would be provided to that school. I was aware of that decision, which I appreciate must have been a difficult one to make. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the government has-

Mr Quinlan: Beyond about 2006 though.

MR CORNWELL: Perhaps, yes. In my opinion it is a sensible decision that had to be taken reluctantly. I note in the report of the Select Committee on Estimates, which inquired into Appropriation Bill 2003-04 No 2, a comment relating to an amount of $350,000 under Urban Services for the acquisition of the Hotel Kurrajong. The committee inquiring into Appropriation Bill No 2 stated that it would be beneficial to the territory to acquire that asset at an appropriate price. That amount of $350,000 seems pretty good to me, although I understand that consideration was given to the $5 million that was paid by the ACT Government in 1993 to upgrade the old Hotel Kurrajong. No doubt some sort of contra deal-

Mr Quinlan: From the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Administration?

MR CORNWELL: The Treasurer might like to clarify that issue for me. I would like to know-and this is where the confusion arises-whether the government intends to continue to fund that school beyond 2006, which is what the Treasurer indicated by way of interjection. Is that correct?

Mr Quinlan: No. I will answer that question later.

MR CORNWELL: Does the finance finish then? What is the future of the Hotel Kurrajong? If the ACT Government buys it, what does it intend to do with it if it does not intend to provide funding beyond 2006? I would like the Treasurer to clarify that issue. Will the Treasurer keep the Assembly posted as to what is happening with that quite expensive investment? It is in everybody's interest that we try to cooperate as much as possible.

MRS CROSS (11.47): In speaking in debate on the government's Appropriation Bill 2003-2004 No 2 I was wondering why we are debating the government's second Appropriation Bill for this financial year only eight weeks after debating the first Appropriation Bill. What has changed in the last eight weeks that has required the government to appropriate an additional $25.888 million? Surely that money could have been allocated in the first Appropriation Bill. Why could the government not plan eight weeks ahead?

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