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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2876 ..


MR BARR: I mentioned that in answer to your first question. The net new capital is nearly $500 million of a $5 billion program.

Ms Lee: What is it as a percentage?

MR BARR: If you quickly did the maths, Madam Speaker, you might work out that nearly $500 million in net new capital in a $5 billion program would be closer to 10 per cent. But look, that the Leader of the Opposition has perhaps failed in her first test as shadow treasurer might demonstrate something about the weakness of her reply to the budget last night and what we have seen today.

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Members!

MR BARR: It is not just the infrastructure program that is contained within the budget to turbocharge our city’s economic recovery. We are confident that a $5 billion infrastructure program continues to build the infrastructure that our city needs, support more than 15,000 jobs in the construction industry and has a significant flow-on benefit across the entire economy, targeting 250,000 jobs in our economy by the end of 2025.

MRS JONES: A supplementary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, do your delivery forecasts factor in the things that you normally blame for your under-delivery of the infrastructure program, such as rain and industry capacity?

MR BARR: There has been some adjustment in the program to reflect border closures associated with the pandemic both internally within Australia and, perhaps more significantly, the Australian border having been closed for several years. There are contingencies associated with each major project. What has generally been the case is that the practical completion of projects precedes the financial completion, including the defect period, for particular projects, often by many months. When you are on a 12-monthly cycle that can often mean that practical completion occurs in one financial year and financial completion, after a defect period and a remedy period, occurs in the following financial year.

The government continues to work closely with key industry stakeholders across the range of major infrastructure projects. The infrastructure program has more than 250 projects in it. They range in size from sub-million to tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. So different projects have different risk profiles, different contingencies. Every single government in Australia faces some of the same challenges around program delivery, and there are always events that occur that are beyond the control of a government or, indeed, a successful tenderer in the delivery of a project.


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