Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3125 ..
than the $75.3 million identified by the Auditor-General, and that includes things like rent, costs et cetera.
We asked the Minister for Emergency Services about this:
MR SMYTH: That is okay. In the same paragraph, the Auditor-General says:
In total, the commitment is $75.3 million from the date the lease for the new HQ building commences, plus the base rent spread over the subsequent 15 years.
Comparing apples with apples, what is the upgraded total cost of this project now?
Mr Corbell: A combined total of all the activities?
MR SMYTH: Yes.
Mr Corbell: I do not have one in front of me but I will take that on notice so that we can provide that to you later in this hearing. It should not be too hard to get.
Apparently, Madam Assistant Speaker, it is incredibly hard to get, because the question was taken on notice—it is question 406—and the printout from the Assembly website at quarter past four this afternoon shows the question had still not been answered. I am shocked. Here we have the minister saying, “It should not be too hard to get” on 25 May; there were another six days in May, there are 30 days in June, and there is today. So it is 36 days later. Apparently it was a little bit hard to get—or perhaps it is just a little bit embarrassing.
We know that according to the auditor it is $75 million. The minister says it is not too hard to get, but 36 days later he does not have the courtesy or the courage to provide that answer to the people of the ACT. That is just deplorable of the minister. It is arrogant, and it does not improve this process, because we are here to pass a budget. We are being asked to pass a budget with details that we do not have. And that is a good reason not to pass it. If you cannot provide us with the detail of what the spending is, and if you are not willing to be held accountable, then you should not be trusted with the money. And, if there is one minister who should not be trusted with the money—
Mrs Dunne: Or the monergy.
MR SMYTH: Or the monergy—yes, the monergy, you should not be trusted with the monergy when Mr Corbell is around, and here is the perfect example: it is a project that is years late, it is a project that is millions of dollars over budget, there is an additional $3 million in this year’s budget for the project, which is due in December this year, but we cannot be told by the minister, who says it should not be too hard to get the total all-up cost when you compare apples with apples. I think that goes to the heart of this minister: he is not good at managing his portfolios. As somebody said the other day, how many portfolios have you had now, Mr Corbell?