Page 4464 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013
differ and in order to maximise the sale offer, the motion has been prepared to enable the government to adopt either form of sale, depending on the responses received from potential buyers.
The sale will also be conducted through an open competitive process so as to maximise the number of bidders. This approach should ensure the best outcome for the territory.
The sale process will seek initial expressions of interest subject to certain selection criteria, including demonstrated experience and credentials to manage ACTTAB successfully. Potential bidders will need to demonstrate they have the appropriate experience and capacity to operate a wagering business, including satisfying the necessary probity requirements to operate ACTTAB’s exclusive wagering licence.
The ACTTAB board, the United Services Union and the local racing industry have all been consulted about the sale. The government will ensure that staff are treated fairly and equitably and that the local racing industry is not negatively affected. As part of the sale process, potential purchasers will be asked to provide details about their planned staffing arrangements and their support of the local racing industry.
The sale should be undertaken as quickly as possible to minimise the risk of destabilising the operations of the company. It is for this reason today I am seeking the support of the Assembly to the motion to enable the government to sell either the shares or the main undertakings of ACTTAB. This will assure the market that the government is able to conduct the sale, which could otherwise discourage potential purchasers from committing time and resources to the process.
I commend to members of this Assembly the motion in my name seeking agreement to allow for the disposal of any of ACTTAB’s main undertakings or shares in ACTTAB as the opportunity arises.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.56): The importance of this sale to the industry, to the current staff and, I think, to the people of the ACT will ensure a great deal of interest in it. I do not think we got off to a good start by having a motion that was out of order and attempted to modify law by motion.
I am also concerned that that was now compounded by the fact that when we finally got hold of a copy of the motion and I rang Thoroughbred Park, the harness club and greyhounds ACT, none of them was aware of the motion or the content of the motion. They were quite grateful to be informed that the government was doing this today because, basically, yes, they knew the government was going sell ACTTAB but they had no idea when and they had no idea how.
If the minister wants the community on board with this, then perhaps more consultation would be appropriate. I do not see how you make changes of the nature we are about to make to an industry without involving them in the process. So perhaps it was not a good start.
When Totalcare was sold, it was a very simple motion. I can understand the purpose of the two different types of sale, to give the government some options. But the