Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3450 ..
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth?
MR SMYTH: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, are you aware that under section 10 of the Territory-owned Corporations Act 1990 your obligations—under the legislation—are in addition to any other legal obligations that you have under any other law?
MS GALLAGHER: I did not hear the first part of that supplementary, but I would prefer to take it on notice and get back to you, Mr Smyth.
Gas-fired power station
DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Chief Minister. It is in regard to the proposed Mugga Lane data centre.
In discussions regarding government decision making that was at the core of Mr Seselja’s no confidence motion in the Chief Minister, my staff and I were firmly advised by a spokesperson of the proponents of that proposal that if an EIS was required for the development, the other partners would walk. Can the Chief Minister advise the Assembly if the project is now at risk and if there has been any suggestion to him that project partners are reconsidering their position?
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Dr Foskey for the question. Dr Foskey, I am aware of no suggestion that the project is at risk; far from it. I think the best and clearest way for me to answer your question is to say no, I am not aware that the project is at risk. You might repeat the second part of your question.
DR FOSKEY: Has there been any suggestion to you that project partners are reconsidering their position?
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Dr Foskey. No, I have no information or advice that the project is at risk. It would be at risk, of course, if the EIS or the development application is not satisfactorily or ultimately approved, but that is part of the process. That is not any personal or private opinion that has been expressed to me. I am not aware that it is at risk and I have not been advised or informed by anyone associated with the consortium that it is at risk.
DR FOSKEY: Thank you. Was the Chief Minister aware of the proponents’ concerns in May or June? If so, how did he respond to those concerns at the time?
MR STANHOPE: I have had a number of discussions with proponents of the data centre in which they did raise issues around the then consultation and the processes in place and the road or the route that needed to be followed in relation to seeking formal approval for the project to proceed to the construction stage.
So, yes, I have been involved in discussions in which the proponents have raised issues around perceived difficulties and obstacles in the proposal proceeding. But at no stage did I ever respond to those concerns otherwise than by insisting at all stages that there was a formal statutory process in the ACT that needs to be followed and successfully concluded. Of course, that is the case in every other jurisdiction in