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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (16 September) . .

Page.. 2730..

Transport—light rail

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Capital Metro. Minister, on 25 June this year in estimates, you said:

The government is not proposing to release revised cost estimates as we approach the procurement process. To do so would be to potentially compromise that procurement process and competitive tension in that process. It could also compromise value for money for the government and the community.

Minister, why did you disclose the revised cost estimate of $783 million? Aren't you now jeopardising a competitive procurement process, to use your words?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Coe for the question. Absolutely not, Madam Speaker. The decision to release the capital delivery cost is based on the very clear and unambiguous advice from the board of Capital Metro and, in particular, the board chair, Mr John Fitzgerald, that it does not compromise. But clearly there are potentially a range of other issues associated with the business case that could potentially compromise. Therefore we are taking further advice from the Capital Metro board and, indeed, from our other advisers, before making a decision on the detail that will be released when the final business case is released.

Of course, this is consistent with the government's approach to both protect value for money for the territory and to be open and transparent and provide the highest level of information possible. We have done more as a government than most governments around the country when it comes to infrastructure projects of this size and cost, and we will continue to adopt a very proactive approach. I note that the estimates committee recommended that there be no release of any material until after the competitive process was completed. The government agrees with the sentiment but does not agree with all of the detail behind that recommendation because the advice we have to us is that some information can be released. We continue to adopt a prudent and careful approach on that matter, and will continue to do that as we lead up to the release of the business case for the capital metro project at the end of October.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, does the government have a final estimate of the cost of the relocation of the pipes and wires and utilities along the route?

MR CORBELL: All of these matters are outlined in the final business case. Once the government has concluded and received the further advice that I referred to earlier, we will be proceeding to release that final business case for scrutiny.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, has the government revised the cost-benefit ratio to $783 million, and when will you release the updated BCR?

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