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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 211 ..

actually done by TAMS, through staff employed directly by TAMS. It is only the arterial road contract that has gone to Citywide. The ACT government has its own fleet of 80 mowers; they are now going six days a week. We have upped that during this season in order to keep up with the mowing; they are going at it six days a week in order to keep the grass under control. We have seen a lot of rain. We have seen very good growing conditions for grass, and we do have some catching up to do. I have asked TAMS to work even harder to make sure that work gets done and look at whether we need to put extra resources into getting the mowing sorted out so that we can improve the current state of play.

The other issue is the weeds. We have experienced similar problems with weeds growing on median strips and the like. I have similarly asked TAMS to give me some information on what can be done to step up the work to bring that under control. In a number of parts of town, I am disappointed in the way the city is looking.

As you move around the city you can see the areas that are going very well. I was in Tuggeranong in the last few days and large swathes of the south side of the city are looking very good; they have just been mowed. But we are clearly behind in Belconnen and Gungahlin. The work began in those areas on Saturday, and I hope that we will see a significant improvement over the coming days as the work gets done in that area.

I just wanted to add those few remarks. I support the amendment Mr Barr has moved, but I wanted to particularly comment on the specifics of the questions that were being posed around the history, the background to the allocation of that contract and the state of the mowing performance in the ACT.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.51): I rise briefly to reiterate a concern which Mr Wall flagged in this place with regard to the industry briefing Mr Wall described. As an opposition we were advised that at that meeting the contractors were told they could not win more than one parcel of work. Therefore, that affected the pricing of what they submitted. If they could have won two or three parcels of work, the fixed costs would have been spread across more than one parcel; therefore, they could have delivered additional mowing at a relatively low marginal cost. That is a very important point to make.

In contrast to the advice that these contractors received that they could only win one parcel of work, Citywide won three parcels of work. It is no wonder they were able to get economies of scale because they won three parcels of work despite the fact that at the industry briefing people were told they could only win one parcel of work. Were Citywide informed in advance that they could win more than one parcel of work? If so, were other operators informed that they could win more than one parcel of work? If not, the entire tender process could be in jeopardy.

Mr Wall asked a question about this in the Assembly yesterday and raised it in the Assembly again just then. Mr Rattenbury, as the minister responsible, spoke up about various issues with mowing, but he did not touch on that extremely important issue. It is an extremely important issue. We on this side will happily give Mr Rattenbury leave to speak a second time in this debate to clarify whether people at the industry briefing were told they could only win one parcel of work.

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