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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5797 ..

12 months, noting that it was hopeful of being able to resolve any residual issues by the end of this calendar year. This reflects requirements under federal legislation, namely, the Corporations Act 2001. It is also consistent with Totalcare’s summary of strategic objectives for 2010-11 as stated in its annual report for 2009-10.

Following its end-of-year audit for 2009-10, Totalcare was advised by its external auditors that it would not be able to be voluntarily wound up whilst there were any outstanding liabilities. This is just one of the requirements of the Corporations Act that a company needs to satisfy before it can be voluntarily wound up.

The outstanding liabilities of Totalcare relate to a combination of superannuation, tax and legal complications concerning a number of external superannuation funds and Com Super, which administers the Australian government’s superannuation schemes. These complications have meant that the last cohort of settlements in relation to 135 ex-Totalcare employees has not yet been able to be finalised.

For example, difficulties arise in processing settlements where the ex-employees’ superannuation entitlements are currently sitting in different funds to the default superannuation fund used by Totalcare, namely, the Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust, AGEST, or where funds other than AGEST have refused to transfer superannuation entitlements back to Totalcare to avoid duplication of employee entitlements. As the estimates committee has been informed, this occurs where an ex-employee’s superannuation is sitting in a third or fourth tier superannuation fund.

Those funds were not part of the original arrangement that has enabled Totalcare to recoup its money from AGEST. This has delayed the settlement process for this cohort. This is necessary as part of the restitution process for all ex-employees, which has meant Totalcare has had to look at other ways it can achieve this.

Further, there are still a number of former employees in this cohort of remaining settlements whom Totalcare has simply not been able to contact, despite a recent round of advertising urging ex-employees who had not previously been in contact with the company to do so. This is necessary to enable the company to finalise a list of ex-employees to whom it has outstanding superannuation obligations. Former employees are still able to contact Totalcare if they have not already done so. However, this unfortunately delays the final settlement process.

Totalcare has continued to avoid the unnecessary high costs of litigation for all parties because of its robust and effective, yet ethical, approach to settlements. I can advise the Assembly that Totalcare hopes to have the legal issues and documentation finalised to a point where it will be possible to wind up the company. Subject to any externalities that are out of the board’s control, the objective is for Totalcare to be wound up at the end of the 2010-11 financial year.

Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 28 October 2010, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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