Page 2442 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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fact, I think we have finalised those negotiations and we have made a payment of $90,000 for that demountable. In addition to that, the cost of transporting that demountable down to Canberra on, I think, 29 trucks in convoy is going to bring that price up to $1.6 million.

The transport is the huge cost. We have looked everywhere for a demountable that is suitable for the needs of Quamby. It is a demountable that will provide 24 secure rooms for young people at Quamby and considerably increase the accommodation options at Quamby. We have also looked at our capacity to build a temporary facility like that at Quamby in the short term, and those prices by far exceeded the total cost of buying the demountable from Queensland, transporting it to the ACT and rebuilding it or putting it together on the site at Quamby. It is the most cost effective and the speediest way to get increased accommodation options at Quamby to ensure that we can offer some alternative accommodation arrangements within the constraints that we find at that facility.

MR STEFANIAK: I have a supplementary question. Thank you for that, minister. I note what you say about the transport cost. Does that also include the necessary reconstruction and refit at Quamby? If not, could you provide me with those costs? In fact, could you detail all the costs you have actually expended, including the refit and reconstruction of Quamby?

MS GALLAGHER: Sure. I will take that on notice and provide all those costs. We have made a number of changes to the Quamby budget in relation to fencing, in relation to some of the monitoring of young people in there in terms of cameras, in terms of refit of some of the staff areas and better accommodation for staff and, of course, some increased facilities through this demountable. There have been a number of things we have done. I understand that is the information you want, a breakdown of that? I will provide that to the Assembly as soon as I can.

Water—abstraction charge

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. I refer to an article in today’s Canberra Times in which a Canberra lawyer suggests that the water abstraction charge may be an illegal excise because all the money collected is not being directed to water management. In the article your spokesman is reported as saying that “the ACT could demonstrate that the charge covered only the cost of providing water”. Can you demonstrate how the charge only covers the cost of providing water, here—now—for the Assembly?

MR STANHOPE: I could not do that in the five minutes available to me. I think we are all aware of the very significant work that is done to ensure that the ACT is provided with a secure and high standard of water through the infrastructure that is necessary to ensure that. I think it is fair to say that an enormous level of resourcing has been applied, most particularly through Actew, in relation to some of the infrastructure that has been a feature of our response to the circumstances we find ourselves in as a result of the devastation to the Cotter catchment, as a result of the fire and the difficulties that have been experienced as a consequence of the drought.

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