Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (4 August) . . Page.. 3413..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
action is necessary to achieve its objectives under the 15 key sustainability and environmental goals set by the Swedish parliament.
I commend this paper to members as it raised some interesting issues and concerns in relation to ongoing sustainability and the need to involve the population and the community at a grassroots level. Everything cannot be done at a parliamentary level; we have to focus our achievements and our goals. I think the Swedish government started with over 200 sustainability and environmental initiatives that it wanted to achieve. It realised that they were unachievable within the timeframe that it had set so it reduced its goals to 15. It focused on those 15 goals and it is now seeing flow-on benefits after having achieved some sustainability goals.
I again thank Mr Hargreaves for bringing to the attention of the Assembly the papers that were tabled at the National Conference of Parliamentary Environment and Public Works Committees. I urge other Assembly members to look at those papers, which I believe could have benefits for the ACT.
MR HARGREAVES (12.24), in reply: I thank members for their input to this debate. In particular, I thank the chair of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment for her expose of the environmental stream. I did not attend that session. When Mrs Dunne was talking about the future application of PPPs in the ACT her underlying message was that we should be proceeding with caution. There are a number of reasons for that. One of them is that PPPs have not been adequately and empirically evaluated. Professor Hodge said:
The poor quality of publicly available data for PPPs is just one common issue in terms of empirical governance and accountability concerns Australian citizens might express. This is not only the case in terms of project definitions and financial amounts involved for partnership projects but as well there is an absence of good quality monitoring and evaluation information. A serious effort is now needed to address this shortfall.
He also said:
Because PPPs generally apply to infrastructure projects spread over many years, even decades, the suggested benefits to both sides of the partnership have not yet been realised nor proven.
Given the length of such contracts the jury is still out on the extent to which promised performance gains are actually being achieved.
Referring to the application of PPPs in the ACT he said that we needed to be mindful of the type of PPP that may be attractive to future governments. Mr Tim Cave, General Director, Major Projects Delivery Services, Department of Justice, Victoria, said that only projects of $100 million would attract a PPP. That would limit their application in the ACT to large infrastructure projects such as light rail or a prison-the very point that Mrs Dunne made.