Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3227 ..
As I said, I am well aware of the complicated nature of the required insurance arrangements and that significant further discussions will be required. The Greens appreciate that the ACT government has progressed the issue, and we look forward to continuing work with the government to develop a scheme that allows for planned home births in the ACT.
As I said, the Insurance Authority performs an essential function for the effective operation of the government, and the Greens are pleased to support the appropriation to the Insurance Authority.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.21—Actew Corporation—$10,195,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $10,195,000.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12:20 am): This may surprise some of you, but, given the lateness of the hour, I shall be brief. I have to make a few observations about Actew in the context of this budget. Before I do that, I want to put on the record once again the Canberra Liberals’ support for the policy to secure Canberra’s future water supply. Members will recall that the Canberra Liberals went to the 2004 election with a commitment in this area and dragged the Stanhope government kicking and screaming after us.
We acknowledge the importance of the work that is being done to enlarge the Cotter Dam, upgrade the Googong spillway to build the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline and to secure all the licence entitlements from Tantangara. Indeed, I take the opportunity to record my thanks to Actew Corporation for the opportunity afforded me and my colleagues Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth a couple of weeks ago to tour the major water project works at the Cotter Dam, the pipeline and the spillway projects. I am sure Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth would echo those thanks.
What we do not support is the way the development of these projects from concept to delivery has been managed. We have heard technical language that has caused confusion both in this place and in the community, and it is a little alarming that even those high up in Actew have had some problem with the technical language and some of their utterances, most notably on radio in the ACT where they have confused some of the terminology. Some of us correct things when we get it wrong, but, to my knowledge, some of those in Actew have not so far clarified their language, which has meant that there has been no little public confusion about some of the terminology.
The most important thing about this issue is the ever-spiralling costs related to the major water projects over the past four years. In the case of the enlarged Cotter Dam it went from $120 million in 2005 to an announced total project cost in 2009 of $363 million. In the case of the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline, it went from $35 million to $45 million in 2005 and to $148.9 million in 2009.
The people took these early cost estimates in good faith. They took them as costs to deliver these projects. No qualifications were offered for those figures; no information about what was included or excluded was provided. There was no information about