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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 210 ..

agenda to support this economy, maintain economic activity, encourage investment and support jobs. We will do so in the ways that we have outlined. I commend my amendment to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (5.45): I will add a few brief remarks in addition to Mr Barr. I will focus much more on the specifics of the issue that Mr Wall raised—the Citywide contract and how that came about. I have provided some information to the Assembly, but, for the purposes of this debate, I should touch on a couple of those points.

As I said, and as I told the Assembly yesterday, Citywide were successful in securing the arterial road mowing contract through a competitive tendering process. As I said yesterday, that was undertaken and evaluated on a number of criteria. Those criteria include a weighting for local companies and then a range of other factors around value for money for the ACT. As Mr Wall noted in this comments today, I did say that Citywide came in at around half the price of other tenderers.

Local business was a consideration in the procurement processes, with locally owned businesses scoring higher against this criterion. But even with that weighting for Canberra-based companies, Citywide rated much higher and provided better value for money.

I think there are some difficult questions here. I have quite a bit of sympathy for the argument that Mr Wall is making. There is obviously an attraction and a position I support in ensuring that local companies are given that extra bit of opportunity. The difficult question for this Assembly to reflect on is how much more the ACT taxpayer should be required to pay in order to source a specifically local company. How much weighting should be given to local business, and therefore what will the extra cost be to the ACT government and therefore the taxpayers who foot the bill for these things? These are difficult questions. I would be quite open to hearing the various views that are in the chamber.

It is quite clear that Citywide have been operating in the ACT for a number of years. They employ local staff, including over 15 local staff, to deliver mowing services in the territory. They also employ local subcontractors to assist in delivering the mowing program along arterial roads. So with some of the work that Citywide has been awarded, quite a proportion of that income goes back to locals through either direct employment or the subcontracting process.

This is a complex equation that I would be interested to hear Mr Wall’s views on. How much more should we be willing to pay and what should that local weighting be? There is a tension here between getting the best possible value for money versus using the local contractors. I am happy to have that discussion further as we seek to get the balance right and also make sure that we get the job done here in the ACT.

We have had an extraordinary season when it comes to mowing. I have said publicly that I am not satisfied with the look and feel of the city at the moment. I think we are behind. As I also have said in the chamber this week, the bulk of the mowing is

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