Page 3876 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petitions would be recorded in Hansard and a copy of each referred to the appropriate minister, the petitions were received.

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee


Motion (by Mr Gentleman), by leave, agreed to:

That order of the day No 1, Assembly business, relating to the tabling of the report of the Standing Committee on Planning and Development concerning water use and management, be discharged from the Notice Paper.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 16

Debate resumed from 21 August 2008, on motion by Dr Foskey:

That the report be noted.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.34): It is important that this matter is brought forward and concluded on the last day of sitting in the ACT Legislative Assembly for this year and for this electoral cycle, because it goes to the heart of much that is wrong with the administration of the Stanhope government. We have seen as a result of the Auditor-General’s report a unanimous report from the public accounts committee, without dissent of any sort from any member, frankly stating that the shareholders were lackadaisical in their approach in relation to Rhodium Asset Solutions.

We have seen a long debate in relation to Rhodium, and a lot of caution—Mr Mulcahy, when he was the Treasury spokesman for the Liberal Party, spent a lot of time cautioning the government about going down the path of getting involved in businesses. It is interesting to note that the overriding message in relation to the shareholders in the case of Rhodium Asset Solutions—the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister—is that they did not meet their obligations in the way that was necessary.

The Territory-owned Corporations Act is quite specific—it sets out in quite considerable detail the rules of accountability that are necessary and the necessary actions of shareholders. Section 17 has specific roles, duties and obligations in relation to directions to the corporation and the application of government policy. It was interesting when the Deputy Chief Minister was questioned about these things the other day that she said she was aware of the policies and her obligations under the act but could not give an exposition of what they were.

The most important part in relation to the roles and obligations of shareholders is set out in section 10 of the Territory-owned Corporations Act, which states:

The obligations imposed by this Act on a company or the directors or shareholders of a company are additional to the obligations that are imposed on them by any other law or the constitution of the company.

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