Page 3953 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009
Mr Seselja: I think so.
MS GALLAGHER: Okay.
Mr Stanhope: I wouldn’t believe them.
Mr Coe: You fill us with confidence!
MS GALLAGHER: Well, I never believe anything that comes from that side, I have to say.
Mr Coe: Put that in your own words.
Mr Seselja: If you want to deny that you said it—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Let us hear from the Treasurer.
MS GALLAGHER: So I don’t know; I have been here long enough never to believe it. My view is—and I have reviewed public statements going back to 2005—that the costs as outlined in 2005, 2007, prior to the government making a final decision to go ahead with the enlarged Cotter Dam, were always made as estimates, with caveats around doing detailed planning and environmental studies to finalise the exact total costs of the enlarged Cotter Dam.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the cost blow-out to $363 million for the Cotter Dam enlargement is likely to mean additional debt for Actew Corporation and may impact on the dividend paid to the government from Actew’s profits.
Treasurer, what modelling have you done to assess the additional debt that Actew Corporation will require for the enlarged Cotter Dam and the impact this additional debt will have on the territory’s current AAA rating and the dividend coming to the government from Actew?
MS GALLAGHER: Some of that work is being done. I do not have all of that detail to provide you with today but I can certainly provide it to you in future because we have asked for that detail. I do know that, of the $350 million that Actew have been given approval to borrow, not all of that has been used at this point in time. It is not expected that they will need to borrow any additional capital until the financial year 2010-11. I understand that this will not, at this point in time, place the AAA credit rating in any jeopardy.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question.
MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, have you personally reviewed the cost-benefit analysis for the Cotter Dam enlargement project, and are you satisfied that it still provides value for money and a viable proposition for the ACT taxpayer?