Page 2365 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008
issues like this and that. Of course, it is interesting blaming the weather when we have had drought conditions for the last several years. I do not think there have been too many delays for too many projects as a result of rain in recent years. I think we have had a pretty good run on that score.
It is interesting to note, in the context of how much this minister talks about the capital injections, some of the $29.6 million in rollovers in the Department of Education and Training budget and the reasons for them: schools infrastructure refurbishment, $12.6 million; delay caused by scoping of work and site access, west Belconnen school, $8.6 million; rollover due to a delay in receiving development approval, which is in the government’s control, new Gungahlin college, $4.6 million; delays due to site planning issues and project definition, under capital upgrade funding, $3.5 million; delay caused by scoping of work and site access—once again, there is scoping of work.
Are these things that have not been planned? Where is the planning for this? These are particularly interesting descriptions of why these projects are being delayed. There was also the Tuggeranong P-10 school, $3 million. Unanticipated delay was due to time taken to engage a suitable officer to manage the project. These are not reasonable excuses; these are not things that are outside the scope or outside the control of government. These simply look like issues of mismanagement.
Another is delays due to site planning issues and project definition. You were not able to define the project sufficiently in order to get the money spent and get the project done. Surely these should be anticipated. Surely we would be planning for these very kinds of things—for project definition, for scoping of the work. When we hear the government talk about its infrastructure plans, whether it is in education or anywhere else, we do need to look at some of the descriptions. It goes across different portfolios. There are very similar descriptions for a number of them.
These are not things that are outside the government’s control. These are issues about the fact that they have not made structural changes and that is why we have been arguing that they will not be able to get their infrastructure program done. They have simply not demonstrated in the last few years how they will be able to do it. We see rollovers, for not very good reasons, for not reasons outside the government’s control but very much in the government’s control.
That is why we have announced infrastructure Canberra, which will actually provide some structure to the way we manage infrastructure and the way we plan for infrastructure spending. This government simply announces a bunch of projects, demonstrates on numerous occasions how it cannot get it done and then the excuses we hear for why it cannot get it done are completely within its control. Yet when we hear the Chief Minister, he tried to blame industry; he blamed industry for the delays in a number of projects.
The government needs to look at its role. These excuses given by the department of education as to why some of these projects have not happened are not credible and they are completely something that the government could control if it was willing to make the kinds of structural changes that are necessary and that would certainly assist in delivering infrastructure programs in the next few years.