Page 3916 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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MR SPEAKER: Order, Chief Minister! Come to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: I am sorry, Mr Speaker. Let us get off the division and the distraction. Let us try and get back on course. Let us get off the bubbling little leadership dissention—

MR SPEAKER: Yes, let us get on to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: that is building there within the party and get to something that will distract and spin. On the notion that the ACT government forced Actew to actually include a peaking power station, the proposal for a peaking power station on this site or, indeed, anywhere within the ACT in relation to the context of this debate came from ActewAGL. It is not the government’s proposal. If there was a suggestion anywhere in the documents that the contrary was the case, I challenge the Leader of the Opposition to provide a single piece of evidence that suggests that the notion or the idea of a peaking power plant came from the government.

Mr Pratt: You’re misleading.

MR STANHOPE: It actually was part of the initial—

Mr Pratt: You’re misleading, Jon.

Mr Hargreaves: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Stop the clock. I ask you to ask Mr Pratt either to withdraw the accusation that the Chief Minister is misleading or come forward with a substantive motion.

Mr Pratt: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

MR STANHOPE: To settle the matter and put it into some perspective, at no stage was it the ACT government that proposed the peaking power plant as a part of this particular project. I go back and stand by all of my earlier assertions. It is not the business of government to dictate to commercial entities how and what their development applications look like. We did not in relation to this proposal.

In relation to this particular issue these proponents came to the government with a proposal and, in the context of that proposal, precisely identified that they might apply for that for the purpose of the project. They incorporated that certain of their thinking in relation to how this particular proposal would be powered. An option deed in the context of the application by the proponents was then developed.

I have a statement from Mr Andrew Cappie-Wood in relation to this false assertion, this false claim. Mr Andrew Cappie-Wood, as head of the Chief Minister’s Department, said today that he is not aware of any demand at any time from the government that there would be a peaking power station incorporated in the development application for the data centre.

Mr Gentleman: It is fairly straightforward.

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