Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 442 ..
(c) one member nominated by the Opposition;
notified to the Speaker by 4 p.m. this sitting day.”.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.36): I will speak just briefly on the motion. Mr Corbell has outlined the government’s cynicism at the overtly political nature of this motion, as it reflects both on the Treasurer, Ms Gallagher, and on the chief executive officer of Actew, Mr Mark Sullivan.
I think that this motion really is outrageous. It is outlandish for the Liberal Party in this place to use the privileges of this place to defame Mark Sullivan in the way that they have chosen to do for a very petty political point scoring exercise, and for it to be given the oxygen that the Greens are prepared to give it really is most disappointing.
I think it is important that we reflect, most particularly, on the presentation that Mrs Dunne has just given. She has stood in this place, under privilege, and called Mark Sullivan a liar. I think that is just an outrageous abuse of the privileges of this place. It is absolutely outrageous behaviour by an elected representative to stand in this place today, to use this motion and the privileges accorded to Mrs Dunne, and accuse a leading citizen of this city of being a liar. I am just outraged that Mrs Dunne and the Liberal Party believe that that sort of behaviour is appropriate.
It is in that context that I propose to allow, almost by delegation, Mr Sullivan to at least respond through the letter that he wrote today, and I will read that for the purpose of the record. That will allow Mr Sullivan at least that opportunity to put his side of the issue. As of today’s date, Mr Sullivan advises the members of this place:
I refer to the Public Accounts Committee hearing on Thursday 18 February … subsequent media coverage and a request from Mrs Vicki Dunne for the Legislative Assembly to establish a Privileges Committee to conduct an inquiry into evidence I provided to the Select Committee on Estimates on 18 May … in relation to the Murrumbidgee to Googong Water Transfer Project …
The ACTEW Board approved a total budget of $149.8m at its meeting on 13 May 2009. The budget included a target outturn cost (TOC) of $116.7m. However within the TOC there was a significant provisional amount which required further negotiation and clarification both within ACTEW and with the Project Alliance Partners. This included the concurrent commercial negotiations relating to the development of the TOC for the Enlarged Cotter Dam … a proposed mini hydro and approvals as part of the M2G project. However there was sufficient information and costings available to seek Board approval of a total budget.
At the time of the Select Committee’s hearing on 18 May … I was not in a position to publicly announce the final TOC for the M2G project. To do so may have adversely impacted on commercial negotiations with ACTEW’s alliance partners. As Managing Director of ACTEW, I have responsibilities and duties under corporations law, including acting in good faith and in the best interests of ACTEW.