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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (16 September) . . Page.. 4079..


Ayes 10

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Hanson

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (3:50), by leave: I move:

Add:

"(6) expresses its concern at the increase in the cost of the project and the importance of accurate assessment of costs for major public infrastructure projects so as to provide for informed public debate.".

I have circulated a short amendment. This simply is to reflect the point that I was making in my earlier speech around my concerns and the Greens' concerns that the significant change in price from the initial description of the project to the significant increase at the end is a poor way to be able to publicly discuss these important infrastructure matters.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.51): The opposition will be supporting this amendment. It does actually add a little. One of the important things that it does is this: Mr Corbell's amendment took out the notion that the Assembly was concerned about the exploding costs in relation to the Cotter Dam enlargement and the Murrumbidgee to Googong transfer. Mr Rattenbury's words reinsert that important issue.

This Assembly, at least it seems to me, by the level of questioning of the opposition and the crossbench, is concerned about the blow-out in costs. A couple of times today the government has tried to say, "Really, they are not interested in building the project."We are interested in building the project; we are absolutely committed to building the project. What we have to do is ensure that it is done in the most cost-effective way possible. So far this government has let the whole thing run riot and, in the process, deceived the people of the ACT. What we are proposing to do today is help take some control of the costings in this project.

This case of building the enlarged Cotter Dam highlights in a very stark way what I have been contesting for a long time and what the opposition has maintained for a long time: we in this place do not have enough control over public works. This is a very large public works project. One of the reasons it becomes such a large public works project is that this government has let the costs blow out. It has become the biggest project in the history of the ACT simply because the costs have blown out. They have blown out on Jon Stanhope's watch.


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