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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3987..


MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that.

MR SMYTH: It is a matter of substantive debate, Mr Speaker. It is there in the motion. Paragraph (3) refers to "misleading over reports". Surely I can quote from the motion?

MR SPEAKER: My apologies.

MR SMYTH: Mr Hargreaves has come in and misled this place. I want to quote from the Hansard of 14 November 2007. Mr Hargreaves was asked how much it would cost to fix the bridge. He responded:

How much would it cost to actually restore the old bridge? Of course, the costs came in at around about $10 million, or thereabouts, with $100,000 a year for maintenance, and the bridge would be guaranteed for a period of 20 years. A concrete and steel bridge across that river is guaranteed for 100 years. Twenty years later, we would be back doing it again.

The cost of restoration on 14 November 2007, according to the minister was "about $10 million". Interestingly, the minister and his department have a brief written by RTA bridge maintenance south-west road services on 28 September 2007 that says that the actual cost of fixing the bridge is $4,987,710. So who is the minister fooling?

Mr Hargreaves: It is an incomplete list.

MR SMYTH: Oh, it is an incomplete list!

Mr Hargreaves: You have an incomplete list.

MR SMYTH: You table the brief.

Mr Hargreaves: I just checked it now.

MR SMYTH: You table it. Mr Pratt asked you to table it and you shilly-shallied all over the place. Let us go to that, then. Again on 14 November, Mr Hargreaves is asked by Mr Pratt:

Minister, what analysis has your department undertaken of the New South Wales RTA report about the future of the Tharwa bridge? What was the outcome of that analysis? Will you table this report by close of business tomorrow?

That question was asked on 14 November 2007. Have we seen the report? No, we have not. Did he answer the question? No, he did not. He just shimmied around the whole issue. His answer was quite emphatic. He said:

I will get a bridge across that river, and I am not going to stop the process—quite apart from the fact that it is not within anybody's authority anyway—

There you are, Chief Minister. It is not within your authority to stop this process. Why—because Mr Hargreaves has said so. This is the whole point. On 25 September Mr Hargreaves was asked a question, to which he responded:


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