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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (10 August) . .

Page.. 2700..


I hope this audit report and all the other evidence with regard to the problems at the enlarged Cotter Dam site will inform those opposite about the real risks of not managing large infrastructure projects properly.

I also note a whistleblower has raised concerns about this particular project. I have been contacted by this whistleblower and I know he has some very serious concerns that he has passed on to numerous channels. Some of those have been investigated, but I understand he believes there are still some issues that remain unresolved. I believe he may have even been in touch with one of the Assembly committees as well, so there may well still be some outstanding issues with regard to how the enlarged Cotter Dam and other Bulk Water Alliance projects were managed, whether appropriate governance arrangements were in place, whether taxpayers got the best possible deal and whether lessons have been learned and people are accountable for their actions. Some of those questions may well remain unanswered.

I will conclude my remarks on Icon Water, but I urge the government to ensure that, especially with regard to other large infrastructure projects, the lessons from the Bulk Water Alliance have been learned.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (9.06): During the period 2016-17 to 2019-20 Icon Water will pursue four strategic objectives relating to its people, asset management, customer service and financial management. The key focus is on improving efficiency and effectiveness in providing quality water and sewerage services to the people of Canberra.

The change in Icon Water's prices reflected in this year's budget are limited to consumer price index increases and cost pass-throughs approved by the ICRC in June this year. Normal weather patterns, household consumption and development activity have been assumed. However, variability in climatic conditions and development activity may result in material variations to Icon Water's forecasts.

Forecast distribution income from ActewAGL is in line with its electricity pricing proposal for 2016-17, which has been accepted by the Australian Energy Regulator and the November 2015 Energy Regulator's draft determination on gas network pricing. Icon's budget estimates may change as a result of subsequent regulatory decisions and a number of legal proceedings which are anticipated to take some time to resolve. Icon's debt levels continue to be prudently managed with gearing within the sustainable range. They will be less than 60 per cent for the foreseeable future.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission—Schedule 1, Part 1.13.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (9.08): The ICRC is responsible for regulating and advising the government about pricing and other matters for the monopoly or near-monopoly and ministerially declared regulated industries and the ICRC also provides advice on issues related to competition and arbitrates infrastructure access disputes. One of the important roles that the ICRC has is regulating water prices in the territory.


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