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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 June 2011) . . Page.. 2070 ..

Despite Mr Hargreaves’s babblings, he did point out one issue which I do agree with him wholeheartedly on, and that was the splendid leadership of the chair of the committee, Mr Smyth. I commend Mr Smyth for his approach to the committee, and I think that that has been felt, despite our disagreements at various stages, by the Liberal, Labor and Greens members. He did do a splendid job, and I commend him on that. He was ably supported by the committee secretariat—by Grace, Sandra and the rest of the team.

Perhaps the reason there was not so much emotion this year is that it was such a bland budget, lacking any sort of vision. Other than the great big office building, it was a disappointing budget and one that it was difficult for any of the members of the committee to get overly excited about—either John Hargreaves saying what a great budget it was or us criticising it in terms of substance because it lacked so much substance other than the bizarre great big office building.

When we look at that, we see that it is $432 million. It almost seemed as though the government was doing everything it could to avoid scrutiny. When we did ask some reasonable questions about the savings, where they appeared and what sat behind them, we were given the A4 sheet of paper of which the top half was the $19 million of savings. Basically, it was half an A4 sheet of paper: “There you go; that is what this whole strategy of spending $432 million is based on.”

We know that it will not be $432 million, because we know that when Mr Corbell says that something is going to be delivered on time and on budget, that never occurs. Probably my highlight from the estimates process was that when we did ask Mr Corbell, in the 10 years of the Labor government, what projects they have delivered on budget, on time and on scope, there was this deathly silence. In fact, it was the quietest period throughout the whole estimates. There was this embarrassed look between Mr Corbell and departmental officials, and finally they came up with phase 1 of a road somewhere—in the 10 years of the Labor government.

So we know that this great big office building will not be $432. Another $600 million, no doubt. If it is anything like the dam, it will be another $900 million. And if we—

Mr Corbell: No, it is not. Didn’t you see the question on notice? Didn’t you see the answer to the question on notice, Jeremy? Be careful; you do not want to mislead the Assembly, Jeremy.

MR HANSON: You are the expert on misleading the Assembly, Mr Corbell, so I appreciate your advice.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Hanson! Mr Corbell!

MR HANSON: I appreciate Mr Corbell’s interjection that—you are criticising me for stopping—

Mr Corbell: Be careful, Mr Hanson; you do not want to mislead the Assembly.

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