Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2871 ..
government to make public the documents highlighted in the Auditor-General’s report and to have further committee scrutiny of this project.
That is why the Greens support the amendment proposed by Minister Steel and support this scrutiny motion in its amended form.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.44): Mr Steel could have supported my motion as it was initially today, and proved to this Assembly—and, importantly, proved to the ACT community—that he has nothing to hide regarding this project. He had the chance to prove that he was as transparent as this Perspex that separates good from evil here in our chamber! Instead, he has pretty much proven that he is about as transparent as one of those ACT legislation books that sit on the centre table.
I do not know how many times I have to draw a line in the sand here and say that, because we are asking to find out more about this, it does not mean that we are against it. Mr Steel does not want anyone looking over his shoulder on any of this. He certainly does not support that, and he has made that quite clear in his amendment. It makes a mockery of his bare-faced assertions of transparency and openness yesterday.
Mr Steel’s amendment calls upon the Assembly, and effectively the government, to do what it already has to do, anyway. His amendment is like calling upon the Assembly to adjourn for lunch at around 12 o’clock. Mr Steel knows that; he knows full well that the public accounts committee will consider the Auditor-General’s report. He knows full well that PAC has the ability to inquire into issues arising from that report, and just from that report. He knows that they are the only issues that could be examined by that committee, should it choose to inquire.
He included in the “calls on” and “notes” that the ACT government will be providing a formal response to the Auditor-General’s report within three months. Does Mr Steel think that this was an address to a student group? We all know that that is the case. I do not understand why it is even there.
We will not be supporting the amendment, and I say again that this is the moment for the Greens to either stand up and be counted or to do what they have been doing every single day since Caroline Le Couteur left this place; that is, to say, “Yes sir, no sir, three bags full.”
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday by some of the robust questioning from my progressive friend Ms Clay during question time. Ms Clay questioned Mr Steel on some of the nitty-gritty details of the duplication of William Hovell Drive at west Belconnen. I know that some constituents have raised concerns with her, so she was doing the job of a good local member by standing up and asking those questions.
I would say to Ms Clay: if you do not think that they have got everything right on a project like the duplication of William Hovell Drive and the placement of walking paths, how could you possibly have confidence in the delivery of a $2 billion, $3 billion, $4 billion or $5 billion project? We do not know how much it will cost. It is a massively expensive project, with so much at stake in terms of getting it right. Any big mistakes on this project will not be as easy to rectify as is the case on