Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 September 2022) . . Page.. 2638 ..
MS LEE: Chief Minister, I have to repeat my question because you did not answer the second part of my question which is: what will it actually cost to complete the project?
MR BARR: It depends on what you define the project as. The entire waterfront project—public and private investment—is likely to be in the billions of dollars over the next 15 to 20 years, but if you are referring specifically to the current works, I have no update on the project budget beyond what has already been published. I am not aware of any further increases in costs from what was contained within the audit report. It depends on what we are talking about. The project has many different elements of both public and private investment. So, to be clear, the substantive issue in relation to the audit report was a cost estimate undertaken by the former Land Development Agency; that was in 2014, so it was undertaken nearly a decade ago. There has clearly been a cost escalation over the pandemic, and there have been delays to the project as a result of unavailability of materials, closure of state borders that have affected workforce availability, and, indeed, closure of the construction industry in the ACT at various points during the pandemic. That, together with eight years of inflation, does account for many of the factors associated with the difference between the early LDA price estimate and the outcome of the current works that were part of the audit investigation.
MR CAIN: Chief Minister, why didn’t the City Renewal Authority review the Acton waterfront contract when it took over in 2017?
MR BARR: The authority believes that it did, and it has outlined in its response that was included in the audit report the actions that it took. The Auditor has taken the view that they should have done more. It is, of course, well within the purview of the Auditor to make such a recommendation, and the City Renewal Authority will be preparing a response to the Auditor’s report. That will be part of the government response that will be tabled within the statutory time frame for the government response to the audit report.
MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney-General, recent reports show that ACT prosecutors are filing a record number of appeals to address sentences that the DPP describes as falling “clearly short of community standards”. The DPP were successful in 68 per cent of appeals, and stated:
Most of the crown appeals sought to address sentences for murder and child sexual offending that we considered fell clearly short of community standards for offending of this type.
… our job is to make sure that the ... precedents are correct and reflect community values.
Attorney-General, you have repeatedly stated that an independent review of sentencing is not necessary. Given the record number of appeals from the DPP,