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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 266 ..

Mr Hargreaves: Ninety-eight of them were you.

MR PRATT: The great majority, Mr Hargreaves, relate to deep concern over the efficacy, operability and constant delays in the final rollout of FireLink—all this during the two years prior to your unceremonious dumping of the project.

Minister, yesterday in question time you said that there is a capacity in human minds to absorb new information.

Mr Seselja: It takes a while.

MR PRATT: That was a groundbreaking comment, I thought.

Mrs Dunne: Some people take a while to do their thinking.

MR SPEAKER: Order, members!

MR PRATT: Minister, will you now explain why it took you so long to absorb the new information, along with the two years worth of old information, that FireLink was not working—information which was readily available in the form of scrutiny, feedback and constant warnings from the opposition and operational users—before making your decision to dump the project?

MR CORBELL: I find it remarkable that the opposition criticise the government for implementing the FireLink project and then criticise us for dumping it. It would seem to me that their position is one where it does not matter what we decide to do: they will find some fault with it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Come to the subject matter of the question, Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: This is the subject matter of the question, Mr Speaker. It is about the decision making of the government around the decision to discontinue the FireLink project.

It is quite extraordinary that the government, having been in receipt of information from an independent consultant—indeed, two independent consultants—on the efficacy or otherwise of the ESA’s information and communication technology projects, having made a decision based on that information that the projects, and one particular project in particular, FireLink, should not continue, having made the decision in accordance with that advice, should be criticised given that the opposition claim that they believe the project should have been dumped all along. I find it extraordinary that we get criticised for implementing the project and being urged to dump it, and, when we do dump it, we get criticised for dumping it. That is the opposition for opposition’s sake that we have from those opposite.

I am on the record repeatedly on the steps the government took and the issues it canvassed in deciding whether or not to continue with that piece of technology for the ESA. I have answered numerous questions on that. They are all on the public record. That amply answers the questions that Mr Pratt has asked.

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