Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (11 August) . .
I have sought and I am seeking more advice. I will make the decisions that are necessary and that are outlined in continuing resolution 5AA as quickly as possible when I have all the information before me that I need. I have to give members a complete commitment that on all of these occasions I will act in good faith. This is the third time I have had to handle one of these complaints in 18 months or so.
I do want to touch on the question raised by Ms Burch in relation to publicity in relation to the matter. Ms Burch has told me on a number of occasions—now she has said it in this chamber; so it is not part of Assembly committee deliberations—that she first heard about the complaint being brought by her on the media. I have not actually gone back and checked the time line on that but I have on separate occasions apologised to Ms Burch for that and assured her that we have attempted to ensure that all of these matters are dealt with as confidentially as possible because that seems to be the spirit of the matter.
One of the issues that have been of concern to me in relation to complaints is that in many cases the complaint is enough to tarnish someone's reputation by the existence of the complaint. That is why I believe that these matters should be dealt with as confidentially as possible and that is why I have worked to ensure that that is the way it will work.
But there have been occasions, including on this occasion, when the matter has made it into the media. On this occasion the matter seems to have made it into the media before I had a chance to even finish reading the letter. I am in the Assembly's hands as to what you wish me to do on this matter but I give you the undertaking that when all the information is available to me, as outlined in the continuing resolution, I will make the decisions that I am required to make.
Statement by Speaker
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, as you know, it has been my practice to provide regular updates to the Assembly on the accommodation project. In my last statement on 9 June 2016 I undertook to provide members with a full account of the cost of the project during the final sittings of the Eighth Assembly. The total appropriation for the project was $7.87 million. This comprised $1.546 million for the North Building; $5.317 million for the new works within the Assembly; and $0.624 million for the refresh of works within the Assembly building.
It is important to highlight that a much broader scope of works was undertaken from within these appropriations than was originally budgeted. Due to the competitive tendering process, cost reductions were identified which, with the Treasurer's blessing, were able to be directed towards other timely and strategic upgrades. The most significant of these was the replacement of a large portion of the building's heating, ventilation and cooling system components at a cost of $1.077 million. This was work that would have had to be done in coming years but we were able to do these works with the building works underway and we have saved costs in the process.
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