Page 1758 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022
Omit all text after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
“(1) acknowledges the role of an independent audit authority as a vital quality assurance function for ensuring public money is efficiently and effectively expended, and recognises the professionalism and expertise of the ACT Auditor-General;
(2) notes the ACT Auditor-General has provided a report into the business case prepared to inform Stage 2A of light rail to Woden and that the findings of this report are publicly available;
(3) notes the ACT Government is committed to delivering light rail to Woden, with Stage 2A representing an essential first stage of the route; and
(4) acknowledges the ACT Government will:
(a) prepare and publish a Benefits Realisation Plan for Stage 2A of light rail following receipt of Works Approval by the National Capital Authority and entry into a main works contract for this project;
(b) prepare the business case for Stage 2B and any future stages of light rail with the Auditor-General’s advice and views in mind; and
(c) publicly release the business case for Stage 2B and any future stage of light rail at an appropriate time, in line with the practice for Stage 1 and Stage 2A, so that these can also be transparently reviewed by the Canberra community and offices like the Auditor-General.”.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.17): I rise to speak to Mr Parton’s motion and to the amendment circulated by Minister Steel. Mr Parton’s motion focuses on transparency issues for light rail stage 2. It is similar to quite a lot of other motions and questions that we have heard from Mr Parton in the past. We Greens are also very concerned about transparency. I have asked a lot of questions on this issue myself.
Mr Parton’s motion acknowledges the good work of the Auditor-General. I am really pleased that we have this independent body. They do excellent work; they are so important when it comes to public scrutiny. The motion further calls on the government to produce documents. I will not go into an explanation here. I think we have heard it. Mr Parton knows what documents have been released. He knows why documents will and will not be released. He knows what the government have stated in their response to the Auditor-General’s report. We have heard the same explanation quite a lot of times.
For that reason the Greens will be supporting the minister’s amendment, but we certainly share Mr Parton’s interest in transparency. We have taken care with this amendment. We have made sure that it acknowledges the importance of external scrutiny and that it provides transparency. We have made sure that they will be releasing the information that they can release through the benefits realisation plan.
It is probably worth talking about that benefits realisation plan. A lot of documents get discussed with light rail, and I am not sure that everybody has a clear track regarding all of those different documents. That benefits realisation plan will make it much