Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 February 2008) . . Page.. 52 ..
MR STANHOPE: You can get a report in 2006 which says: “This is the scenario; this is the worst-case option: you don’t need a dam until 2023.”
Mr Smyth: So you were wrong; so are you going to apologise?
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR STANHOPE: Two years later you get advice which says, “We got it wrong. The assumptions have been exceeded. We need to redo the modelling. We now recommend you build a dam.” You say, “Oh, no, Actew, no, no, no, we can’t build a dam now. We decided two years ago on the basis of your previous advice that we wouldn’t.”
Mr Smyth interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth, I warn you. Chief Minister, stick to the subject matter of the question, please.
MR STANHOPE: So there you have it: the facts changed, the report changed, the advice changed, the modelling changed, the assumptions changed—and the government changed its position.
Mr Pratt: You had the facts available to you in 2001 and 2002.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt!
MR STANHOPE: We reversed this, of course. The Liberal Party, presented with a completely new set of assumptions of modelling of outcomes and recommendations, will say: “Well, for goodness sake, just ignore that. We’ve already decided. We’ve made our minds up on this. We read the first report. Anything you produce henceforth is irrelevant.” It is so simple, but it was expressed, I think, most eloquently by Galbraith—if the facts change, change your mind or change your position, and then pose the rhetorical question: what would you do? The facts changed; we changed our position. And thank goodness we have the capacity to do it, unlike the Liberal Party, who would have built us a dam at Tennant that would still be empty and would probably never fill.
Mr Seselja: It wouldn’t be built there, I don’t think.
Ms Gallagher: That was the promise.
MR STANHOPE: That was the promise.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
National Multicultural Festival
MS MacDONALD: My question is directed to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, the National Multicultural Festival seems to get bigger and better every