Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 August 2008) . . Page.. 3221 ..
Assessment Steering Group’s terms of reference, that the work that was to be done on the HIA was to be done by expert external consultants. That work continues. There has been absolutely no change to that at all. The people who are actually doing the work are still doing the work, and they will feed in to the EIS.
The steering group was set up to provide advice to me on the technical aspects of that work. I am no longer in charge of that work. It is part of a broader process. So the steering group no longer need to report to me. That is the change. The steering group were a group that I set up to provide advice to me, Mr Pratt, on the work that an expert external consultant does. The expert external consultant is still doing all of that work. There has been absolutely no change at all. In terms of your question, there has been no change. The HIA will be as good as it was going to be, regardless of whether the steering group were involved, because they were there to feed to me information from the group. Mr Pratt has said, “I call on Mr Stanhope, Mr Barr and Mr Hargreaves to publicly commit to an independent and open EIS for the data centre.” Further, he said:
… the Chief Minister still refuses to request an EIS and has only now allowed his health minister to request that an independent health survey … But nothing short of a fully independent and audited EIS would be acceptable regarding the projects …
Mr Stanhope: That’s why you’re in the B team, too, Steve.
MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, order!
Mr Stanhope: When are your ads starting, mate?
Mr Pratt: The full EIS.
Ms Gallagher: The full EIS is happening, Mr Pratt.
MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister should not provoke Mr Pratt. Mr Pratt is on a warning, and he will get thrown out.
Gas-fired power station
MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, in July you announced the “establishment of a Steering Group comprised of independent experts, the Chief Health Officer and a community representative” to oversee the health impact assessment on the proposed data centre-power station project at Tuggeranong. Why have the independent, unbiased experts now been silenced?
MS GALLAGHER: Didn’t you two talk? It is the same question. I think I have just answered it in my answer to Mr Pratt. For those on the B team—I think Mrs Dunne is on the B team as well—who do not understand it, who have trouble understanding these concepts, the steering group was established to provide advice to me when I was in charge of the process. The process has been overtaken by a decision to move to a full EIS, which is what everyone over there and in the community had been calling for.