Page 5451 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 8 December 2009

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Questions without notice

Recycling—Aussie Junk

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and it concerns the reuseables facility at Mugga Lane. Minister, Aussie Junk closed down in July this year and it is now December and you still have not appointed a new contractor to run the reuseable facility. Why has there been five months with no resolution?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. The government has gone through a rigorous tendering process, as you would expect of a government, or indeed any responsible organisation. Five months in the context of a detailed tender process for a significant contract utilising government moneys is a significant issue. It is an issue that the government takes seriously. While it is regrettable that Aussie Junk and Aussie Junk’s tenure at Mugga and at Mitchell hit a significant speed bump, I do not apologise at all for ensuring that our tendering processes are transparent and rigorous, that they are designed to ensure that our processes are above question and represent best standards in relation to contracting and tendering and that we ensure, at the end of the day, that we return through that process a system or an outcome that the people of Canberra can have faith in. It is about rigour in tendering. It is about due process. It is about the highest levels of probity. It is about transparency. It is about good government.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, if Thiess is awarded the reusables contract, how will you ensure that there is no conflict of interest, given that it would then run the landfill, the weighbridge and the reusables facility?

MR STANHOPE: I am aware of Ms Le Couteur’s concerns about perceptions of conflict of interest, but I think it would be pre-emptive in the extreme for me to assume at this stage the outcome of that tender process. At this stage I have no idea who has tendered, and I do not think it is appropriate that I begin to speculate on who may or may not have tendered for that contract. These are issues that are dealt with appropriately at arm’s length from government. I do not know who has tendered. I do not know who is in the mix. And it would not be very productive for me to begin to speculate on whether or not a particular company, who may or may not have tendered in the first place and who may or may not be successful, is an appropriate company to receive that contract.

MR COE: I have a supplementary question—

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, when was the last time you personally met with representatives of Revolve, or is it true that you have not met with them since becoming Chief Minister in 2001?

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