Page 2359 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 28 June 2005

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Mr Smyth: Really!

MR QUINLAN: Yes, it was past, mate. When the Liberal government was in power I think they set up an arrangement with HIH, which they had morphed out of FAI, which was run by one Rodney Adler. You’ve had some good mates over time. I actually met Adler, if I can just digress for a little while, through you other good mate, Ian Knott.

Mr Smyth: Ah, that’s a blast from the past!

MR QUINLAN: Yes. But, anyway, since that time, the business development fund is going very well. There are now a number of companies that do look like very worthwhile investments. These include Ringwood Superabrasives, Seeing Machines, Biotron, ITL, RPO, Perpetual Water, which we have all heard about, and Barleymax. Let me use Barleymax as an example of how business can be developed in this territory. Barleymax was born out of a discovery at CSIRO Plant Industry. They were working on an allied project using molecular biology, and let me assure people that Barleymax is not genetically modified. This particular strain of barley has been developed and is a source of resistant starch that is now regarded as more important than fibre in promoting health to the lower body, shall I say. It has high soluble fibre, which is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It can have a role in lowering cholesterol. It also has a low GI, glycaemic index, which is a good option for diabetics. And I am assured it also tastes reasonable.

Mr Smyth: Can you make whisky with it?

MR QUINLAN: Well, you might be able to make whisky with it, Mr Smyth. I do recall that, from time to time, you pass yourself off as a whisky buff, but it would be a waste on you. I think you drink whisky with mixers and any self-respecting Scot would probably tear your Sassenach head off, if they bloody caught you doing so! But somehow you can be a barley buff and drink it with lolly water. The point is that what we have here is a process of a venture capital organisation to which the government is subscribing, to which private sector is subscribing, that is involved in the development of products which, I think, will provide a decent return to the fund in the longer term but will also contribute to the standing of the ACT as an innovative and enterprising economy.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Department of Urban Services

MR HARGREAVES: On 22 June 2005, Mr Stefaniak asked about full time equivalents in urban services. For the information of members, I provide the following advice.

Mr Stefaniak was quoting figures from the 2003-04 State of the Service Report. The 2003-04 State of the Service Report figures did not accurately reflect the Totalcare businesses absorbed by DUS. The correct figure should have been 1,353 full-time equivalents as at 30 June 2004. Since that date, environment, arts and heritage have been transferred out of DUS and into the Department of the Chief Minister. The figure of 1,086 full time equivalents as at 21 April 2005 reflects those transfers.

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