Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2796 ..
MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Will the Chief Minister confirm that the unsuccessful tender bid by Lend Lease for the Bruce Stadium redevelopment project included warranties on design and construction costs and time? Was the effect of these Lend Lease Corporation warranties that the company guaranteed it would carry the risk of cost over-runs for the redevelopment of Bruce Stadium rather than, as has eventuated, the ACT taxpayer?
MS CARNELL: I have answered this question in another way before by indicating that it would be totally inappropriate for me or for that matter any other Minister to be involved in a tender process. Surprising as this may seem, I have not read the Lend Lease losing tender, nor should I have been involved in the process at all. The only time those opposite would have an argument with regard to the Lend Lease tender is if I had read it and if I had been involved in the tender process. I can guarantee that I was not involved in the tender process. There was a tender evaluation committee who made a decision. That decision or recommendation was followed through.
MR STANHOPE: I ask a supplementary question. Acknowledging that the tendering for the Bruce Stadium is a matter of significant public interest, will the Chief Minister undertake to determine the contents of the Lend Lease tender? Having done so, would she be prepared to confirm that Lend Lease guaranteed to meet any cost over the redevelopment's projected $27m budget and in fact warned that a government commitment of only $12.3m was unrealistic? Will she also then confirm that it was the case that the Lend Lease bid clearly represented a better deal for the ACT than that of the eventual contractor, CRI Ltd? Was the bid favoured in writing by both the Raiders and Brumbies management?
MR SPEAKER: No expressions of opinion or legal opinions, please.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the Lend Lease tender and all other documents have gone to the Auditor-General. I think it is very appropriate that we allow him to make those decisions.
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. I hark back to the Fay Richwhite report on ACTEW. We have had debate regarding risks faced by ACTEW in public hands. Fay Richwhite dredged up financial risk, regulatory risk and market risk. Later ABN AMRO, when they talked about financial structures, set an implied upper limit of about 33 per cent for a debt-to-equity ratio for ACTEW. Can the Treasurer tell the Assembly what his preferred upper limit is in relation to a debt-to-equity ratio for the proposed or possible merged ACTEW entity in the future?