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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 6 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1629..


there still have to be some protections in place. The FOI law is the freedom of information law as it stands. It is being applied. That is appropriate.

Cotter Dam—cost

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on 24 October 2007 Jon Stanhope said on 666 radio that the new Cotter Dam would come "at a cost of $145 million". The ABC published this figure online. This figure was publicly repeated by the then Chief Minister many times in 2007 and 2008. ACTEW's current figure for the cost of the enlarged Cotter Dam is $405 million. The outgoing chair of ACTEW has recently claimed that this is a blowout of 11 per cent. Using Jon Stanhope's publicly stated figure, the blowout is 280 per cent. Chief Minister, is the cost blowout for the enlarged Cotter Dam 11 per cent or 280 per cent?

MS GALLAGHER: The ICRC looked at this matter. It determined that a fair and reasonable cost for the Cotter Dam was in the order of $363 million—certainly not a blowout of the order that Mr Seselja outlines.

Mr Hanson: So Jon Stanhope was not telling the truth; is that right?

MS GALLAGHER: I have had my own view about the figure that Mr Stanhope used. It was not used in the context of the total project cost for the dam. The total project cost for the dam was $363 million. It has come in over that. So, yes, I would agree with the chair of ACTEW in relation to that matter.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: You said you had your own view on the $145 million figure that was touted by your predecessor. What was that view, and did you have a different view when you went to the election promising a $145 million dam?

MS GALLAGHER: My view is that the $145 million figure was not the total project cost.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Why did the ACT Labor government go to an election in 2008 repeatedly saying that the dam would be built for $145 million?

MS GALLAGHER: The total project cost for the dam was seen by the ICRC as $363 million. That is the total project cost for the dam. I would have to refresh my memory of election commitments given in, what would it be, 2004?

Mr Hanson: In 2007 and 2008 he repeatedly said $145 million.

MS GALLAGHER: It is not a figure that I believe encompassed the total project cost of the enlarged Cotter Dam, that is, from beginning to conclusion.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.


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