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Monday, 29 May 1989
Page: 2899


Senator ROBERT RAY —On 5 May Senator Chapman asked me a question, in my capacity as Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services, regarding the rates charged by hire car operators in Canberra. I seek leave to have the answer incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows-

I am informed that the answer to Senator Chapman's question is as follows: No. The rates charged by hire car firms in the ACT for services provided to the Commonwealth result from quotes made by hire car firms in competitive tenders. The contract between the Commonwealth and the hire car firms includes an annual percentage increase to the contract rates. There is provision for contractors to waive the right to this percentage increase. No contractor has waived the right to the first percentage increase in the current period. This type of price escalation is common in panel period contracts. The first increase took effect on 5 May 1989.

The current rate paid by the Commonwealth is $53.38 per hour on a `pick up to drop' time basis. This is comparable with rates charged to the private sector which range from around $35 per hour to $100 per hour, depending on the nature of the service. The private sector rates are, however, generally charged on a `depot to depot' time basis. The Government does not arbitrarily establish the rate for the use of hire cars for Commonwealth work. The rate is based on the outcome of an open tender process.