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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3158..


MR MOORE (continuing):

available." No, I was being very careful in saying, "Subject to the quality of service." Of course, if we can get the same quality of service for a cheaper price, we must go for it, Mr Wood, because by doing that it means we have more money available to buy more services.

Mr Wood, you will know, if you are standing in this spot and answering questions this time next year-

Mr Wood: I'll do it differently.

MR MOORE: I'm sure you'll do it differently.

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: is the minister answering a supplementary question from Mr Wood or a supplementary supplementary question or what?

MR SPEAKER: I thank you, Mr Kaine. I uphold the point of order. If you two would like to do something about this, put a motion on the notice paper.

TransACT

MR KAINE: My question is to the Chief Minister. I am still seeking clarification in connection with the TransACT deal. Chief Minister, both you and the chairman of TransACT are now on the public record as stating that the total cost of TransACT's Canberra rollout will be a little bit more than $200 million. Yesterday I asked you a specific question about that. I asked you how much more than $200 million would be needed. You declined to answer, claiming that you had already answered that question from the Leader of the Opposition. In fact, a study of the Hansard shows that you did not answer his question either. You did not answer a question either from Mr Stanhope or from me on this matter yesterday, so I am still unclear.

I would like you now to answer the question. I ask you: have you been advised of the likely total rollout cost, and how much more than the stated $200 million is it? Is it $10 million, $20 million, $50 million or $70 million? Can you answer that question?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Kaine may be aware that I was again asked a question earlier today.

Mr Kaine: And you did not answer that either.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is what you claim. I am sorry, I do not agree with that. I think I have answered the question fully and properly. I have indicated to you and to the Assembly that I understand the approximate cost of the rollout is $200 million. I do not believe there is any more precise advice available to the government at this stage about the total cost of the rollout, because at this stage the rollout is about 95 per cent yet to be completed. So the precision of the estimate cannot be significantly greater than I have already given, which is approximately $200 million.

I would love to be able to give Mr Kaine and other members who asked questions on this matter a precise figure, but I do not believe a more precise figure is available. As a result of questions yesterday, I have asked TransACT whether they can be more precise about


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