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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2175 ..


or maintain a competitive edge to the territory. Longer term infrastructure planning requires a different approach, using longer term trend and strategic analysis to identify emerging issues, longer term needs and options, prioritising projects to be subject to more detailed feasibility analysis and the cost-benefit analysis developed to support funding decisions made in the annual budget context.

The ACT approach does need to incorporate and align with the inputs from service planning as well as strategic asset management plans. Further, the methodology should be more flexible and less onerous to generate possible options, with increasing rigour through decision making, to commit resource to feasibility studies through to more detailed cost-benefit analysis for budget decision making. Work is currently underway on refining and improving current thinking on prioritisation methodology.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.56): I thank Mr Coe for raising this matter of public importance. Infrastructure is clearly a matter of major importance for the public in terms of government and government administration, and I note that it has been spoken about in the estimates report. A lot of people in the ACT breathed a big sigh of relief when the government finally released the infrastructure plan. For some time there have been calls for it from key interest groups such as the Property Council and the Business Council. They have been looking for a coordinated and longer term approach to infrastructure spending.

We and the Canberra community are very pleased that the government has finally gathered its capital works and infrastructure plans into one document. The Greens see this as a perfect opportunity for the government to start doing additional analysis on the plans—climate change impact analysis and poverty analysis—so that we ensure that what we are doing is what we want to do for the future, for the long term, and that it will work for the environment and for the people of the ACT.

I note, as Mr Stanhope said, that at the end of the day there is in fact no government commitment to construct any of the priorities in the plan; that is up to the annual budgeting process. We have been describing this as a budget with pictures, but on thinking about it some more I would say that it is not even a budget with pictures; it is just a wish list with pictures.

The reason we have got this plan when we have is possibly that COAG has required the ACT to have a medium-term plan if we want to receive federal funding. I guess we need to thank COAG for it; but, given that this has been so quickly written, I am very much looking forward to the next iteration, which will be developed after ongoing input from the community and industry sectors and after some of the other more relevant plans have been released. I am hoping that the next iteration will look further into the long term and will truly be an infrastructure plan that we can use for planning the ACT’s future rather than just being a wish list with pictures.

In many ways, this document just lists things that the government has been thinking about or working on in the past. It is not a forward-looking document. It boasts about how much money the government has spent on capital infrastructure, but the issue is not how much money was spent; it is how well we have spent it in the past and how well we will spend it in the future. This document shows us what we already knew—that the government knows how to budget money on infrastructure projects. But we


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