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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 November 2014) . . Page.. 4071 ..

By creating those spaces and creating those places, we also create the incentive for and the interest of those new economy businesses that this government is investing so much time and effort in—the innovation businesses, the businesses that spin out of our universities, that spin out of the CSIRO, that spin out of our research institutions. I refer to great companies like Windlab, for example, a leading Canberra company building into the new clean energy economy that is emerging globally. It has come out of the CSIRO and it is employing people right here in Canberra. Those types of businesses— (Time expired.)

Transport—light rail

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Capital Metro. Minister, I refer to a statement made by Matt Grudnoff, an economist with the Australia Institute, about the risks to taxpayers of the proposed public-private partnership to deliver the capital metro project. He said:

We should be worried …

He also said:

Failed PPPs show that they don’t always work, and the only way to get around that is a high level of transparency.

He also warned of the dangers of hidden clauses in the contracts described as commercial-in-confidence.

Minister, what commitment can you give that the government will be fully transparent about the terms of the PPP, including the cost to taxpayers over the life of the partnership?

MR CORBELL: I note the comments that Mr Wall refers to in relation to the full interview that took place with the gentleman from the Australia Institute. I know that overall his comments were very clear—that PPPs can deliver value for money for taxpayers, but they need to be structured carefully. The government agrees absolutely. The PPP needs to be structured carefully to make sure the risk transfer is effected and to make sure that, if there are problems associated with managing that risk, that cost is borne by the private sector partner and not by the taxpayer.

We will be very focused on the delivery of a PPP agreement and contract that reflects the importance of protecting the taxpayer and making sure that when risk is apportioned to the private sector it is genuinely apportioned to them and the risk does not come back to the taxpayer. We are very focused on that. Obviously, we are at the early stages of this process. Significant work is currently being undertaken by the government in developing the RFP framework, and we will be continuing that very detailed work.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

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