Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, I want to talk about the special dividend of $30.9 million which was declared and paid in the 2019-20 financial year. Perhaps you could flesh out some information on the circumstances of that dividend. Was it an own-motion payment, or did the Government request a special dividend? Can you also to explain to the committee how that intersects with the vessel replacement fund, and where the vessel replacement fund is at right now?
Mr FERGUSON - I don't have the answer to the vessel replacement fund question at hand. I will be happy to come back to the committee with that. In terms of the actual dividend applying in those years and the circumstances around it - dividends are paid into the Ship Replacement Fund though.
Ms O'CONNOR - I guess that is my question. The Special Dividend of $30.9 million that is detailed in this year's annual report - is that a special dividend that has gone into the Vessel Replacement Fund, or has it gone into the Public Account? What is the balance in the Vessel Replacement Fund at the moment?
Mr FERGUSON - The $30.9 million figure - my advice is that is a normal dividend.
Ms SAYERS - What was referred to in the Annual Account, is what we paid on the 2018 19 profit. It was paid in December 2019, because that was still a special dividend; and what we are on to now, is the normal dividend.
Ms O'CONNOR - Can we just disentangle that a bit? I can't find the details of a normal dividend, but that doesn't mean it is not in here. It only means that I haven't found it. And just understand those two chunks of money, and what the balance is of the Vessel Replacement Fund today?
Mr FERGUSON - Could you rephrase that, please?
Ms O'CONNOR - That number must be somewhere.
Ms SAYERS - It would not be in our account.
Ms O'CONNOR - That's right. The minister can report that, but also, we do have confirmation of a special dividend that was paid in December last year, and now there has been another dividend payment. Do you have details on that payment, and the balance of the Vessel Replacement Fund?
Ms SAYERS - We have not made another dividend payment yet since this one. We will do, but we haven't made that yet.
Ms O'CONNOR - Okay. What is the balance of the Vessel Replacement Fund?
Mr FERGUSON - I will take that on notice.
Ms O'CONNOR - You don't have that information to hand? I thought that is the sort of thing you have at your fingertips as a shareholder minister.
Mr FERGUSON - It is not. If it was here I would tell you. It is not here for these GBE scrutiny hearings, but it's certainly part of the Budget process. I am happy for the question to be taken on notice, and I will ask for the figure from Treasurer.
Ms O'CONNOR - I am talking about what it is today.