Page 718 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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the staff’s fault that they are about to potentially lose their jobs. This is a decision taken by government.

When we discussed the sale of ACTTAB, and particularly the racing industry, members will remember that I moved a motion that Mr Rattenbury amended. We said there were four things that had to be taken care of. We needed to make sure that there was appropriate funding in the long term for the ACT’s racing industry so that it can prosper and thrive. We were insistent that the sale of ACTTAB be done with the highest level of integrity and that the racing industry had to be part of it and have an understanding of what was happening—I have concerns about that; I have actually been told in some cases that these bills were coming on and they were not aware of it—and that the funding arrangements were broadly consistent with other jurisdictions. If we are going to compete, we have got to be in the game. We are surrounded by New South Wales. The New South Wales industry is changing. It is upping the prize money. If we do not have parity we are not going to get the horses coming to the ACT when they can go to some other regional racetrack for more money. They will go there rather than come to the ACT.

We said that the funding arrangements should help the industry to be self-reliant and sustainable in the long term. In particular, the motion said that appropriate support had to be put in place for ACTTAB staff. I think there are a lot of ACTTAB staff out there at the moment, Treasurer, who are feeling quite abandoned by this process. My understanding is that there are some difficulties with communication. There is a lack of understanding of the circumstances that some of the staff now find themselves in. They are quite uncertain about the process, they are quite uncertain about what their entitlements will be and they are quite uncertain which of them will have jobs.

Some of that, of course, is dependent on the sale and the nature of the sale, but at this stage there is a lot of disquiet, I think, in the industry. They are uncertain about what will happen to their industry as a consequence of the sale. Treasurer, you yourself have seen concerns raised in the paper recently about the ongoing process and whether or not the government had a predetermined position on the process.

At the end of the day, it is the staff that I think we should be most concerned with. It is their lives; it is their livelihoods. The concerns are there. You might say they are imagined and they just need to be calm and they need to wait, but from what I have been told, the level of information flowing down to the staff about the process, and particularly timings, is not leading to any calm or quiet for a lot of people. In fact, it is just creating more disquiet.

When you close the bill you might like to update the Assembly on what arrangements have been put in place for the ACTTAB staff, what support has been put in for the ACTTAB staff and what transition arrangements there are for the ACTTAB staff because there are people suffering out there as a consequence of the process that you have put in train. It is your responsibility.

Indeed, we had a motion where the Assembly basically said, “Yes, we accept there has to be something done.” Let us have an update on that. Let us have an update on the guarantees that were given. We warned that the watering down of the motion by

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