Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 4049 ..
Mr Seselja: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: we actually have not heard from the Treasurer on that. We actually have not heard from the Treasurer.
MR CORBELL: It sounds to me like they are not interested in getting the answer, Mr Speaker; they are just interested in making some sort of political point.
Mr Seselja: If the Treasurer is transferring the answer, we would like to hear from the Treasurer.
Mr Hanson: She needs to stand up and transfer it.
MR SPEAKER: I don’t think she needs to give a speech to do it, Mr Seselja.
Mr Seselja: Has she done that or has Mr Corbell just stepped in?
MR SPEAKER: I presume she has.
MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. What this really shows is that this is just petty political point scoring from the Liberal Party. They are not interested in the facts; they are not interested in getting information. They are interested in some petty political point scoring. To answer the question—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Corbell is going to come to the question now.
MR CORBELL: To answer the question, the government did a detailed cost-benefit analysis of these projects. It was not based on some rough estimate. There were detailed assessments undertaken over an extended period of time, but there were nevertheless a range of significant risk factors around cost escalation. Those were detailed in the documentation that Actew provided to the ICRC. They were put on the public record and they were made clear, in all the comments from Actew, that they were potential risks in terms of the cost of the project. And there is no surprise in that, when you consider the magnitude and scale of this project.
This is the single largest engineering project in the ACT for many years. It is a major engineering task to build a dam of this nature. It requires detailed investigations throughout the course of the development of the proposal. You do not have all of this information on day one; you do not have all of that information at the commencement. It is an iterative and developing process as further investigations occur.
What is most surprising is that those opposite fail to understand how you build major infrastructure projects. They seem to believe that these matters are all determined on day one. They seem to believe that all of the facts are known on the day of the commencement of the analysis of investigation. I do not know what world they are living in, but the fact is there have been detailed investigations. These risks were identified up front and publicly by Actew at the commencement of that process, and it is those factors that have come into play and resulted in the difference in the cost