Page 792 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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tenderer for the section 87 Belconnen nursing home, the Illawarra Retirement Trust, and their bid of $7 million. Can you confirm that the successful bid was exactly $7 million and, if not, what exactly the amount bid by the successful tenderer was? What payment terms is the successful tenderer subject to, and what was the exact amount of the highest bid for section 87?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Seselja for some prior notice of this question. I can advise members that the Illawarra Retirement Trust was the successful tenderer for section 87 in Belconnen. I am advised that the dollar bid was in the order of $7 million—approximately; I do not have the exact figure. I am advised that there were higher bids. However, the tender documentation was not simply an assessment based on best price but also on the ability of the tenderer to meet a range of other expectations, including having proven provider status as an aged care provider and the quality of the overall proposal. It was on this basis that the Illawarra Retirement Trust was chosen by the LDA board as the successful tenderer. All unsuccessful tenderers are able to receive a post-tender briefing from the LDA that will outline, and hopefully address any concerns they have as to, why they were unsuccessful.

MR SESELJA: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I did ask specific questions which were not answered—in particular, what was the amount of the highest bid? I would also ask if Mr Corbell would table for us, by close of business today, the answers to the questions that he did not answer just then, and the exact amount of the successful bid—not just an approximate amount—and the terms and conditions of payment for the successful bidder.

MR CORBELL: I will take those questions on notice and see what information I can provide to members. I think it is important to stress here that the government is not just looking for best price. There is no point in getting best price if it is a hopeless development proposal. To use one of Mrs Dunne’s terms: you do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that. That is what the government is looking for. The government is looking for a proposal that stacks up financially but also stacks up in the context of the ability to deliver quality aged care and a high-quality development outcome. That is what the government is looking for, amongst a range of other issues. These were clearly enunciated through the tender process and the LDA board assessed it on that basis. In relation to the specific issues Mr Seselja raised, I am very happy to inquire of the LDA and provide what information I can.

Multicultural community languages grants program

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Can the minister please advise the Assembly of the outcome of the 2004-05 multicultural community languages grants program?

MR HARGREAVES: One of the dangers that we encounter in being a successful multicultural society is that sometimes we can lose those things that make a given culture unique. I believe from my observations during the multicultural festival that Canberra is the most successful city in the world in terms of multicultural integration. There is talk about unity in diversity. We actually have it.

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