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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1290 ..


MR SPEAKER: Ms Gallagher, I am sure you are setting some context but let us come to the question.

MS GALLAGHER: I was.

MR SPEAKER: Let us come to the question, thank you.

MS GALLAGHER: I was, Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I was just setting the context that, when we took over, the capital works program was in the order of $89 million and was not even delivered. In fact, they had a $20 million underspend in that year.

We have now outlined a program, I think, for the 2008-09 year, in the order of $531 million, building new schools, new health facilities, new municipal services, new public transport, new roads, new footpaths. You name it, we are building it. It is an important part, I think, of the ACT’s economic growth. I think the national accounts figures support that. Government investment, public sector investment, has been behind some of the improved economic indicators that we have seen through that.

I said last year, indeed in this place, that delivery of that program needed to improve, that we cannot have underspends in the order of what we were having. For some large projects, there have been some very legitimate reasons—for example, planning delays; environmental studies; God forbid, community consultation processes that we need to go through. There are always a range of reasons around why there are underspends in the order—

Mr Coe: That’s using the government as an excuse as to why the government—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Coe, I have spoken to you a number of times; so you are now warned for interjections that are simply too loud and shout down the person that is speaking. You are warned.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Indeed, we set out on a process of improving our processes to make sure that work goes out the door, that invoices are paid and that, if there are delays to projects, we identify that early and work on it. I am very pleased that already, in the monthly reporting that I have seen for the 2009-10 year, our delivery of that program will be much higher than it was last year.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?

MR COE: Treasurer, what is the projected underspend of this year’s capital works program?

MS GALLAGHER: We do not have a projected underspend for this year’s capital works program at this point in time. There will be an underspend but it will not be in the order of what we have seen last year. In fact, I have got figures here to the end of January 2010 and, indeed, we tabled the December results. I guess the January month is a little slow because of Christmas, but progress so far is $214 million worth of capital has been delivered as of 31 January 2010, equating to 27.4 per cent of the


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