Page 4056 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009

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market forces at play as well, that not every small business will succeed all of the time, and that from time to time it can be a matter of the entrepreneurial skills of a particular supermarket operator or a particular retail operator in a local setting that will determine whether they are successful or not. No planning system can account for those market variations. Of course, the Planning and Land Authority will continue to administer the planning and development system and our leasing system in accordance with the law.

Cotter Dam—cost

MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. As an Actew Corporation shareholder and responsible minister, were you surprised to learn of the quarter of a billion dollar blow-out in the cost of the enlargement of the Cotter Dam?

Mr Hanson: Gee, she’s on her feet—excellent. Do you want to pass it over?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you for that usual patronising interjection from Mr Hanson. I am going to continue to respond to them and I will actually read out your interjections into Hansard because they are getting to the point where they are just becoming so patronising and offensive that I think we do need to record them. In actual fact, Mr Hanson is not on his own there; there is the entire opposition. I am even surprised they turn up to question time when you could easily have this huddle in your own offices and laugh at each other and entertain each other, because it obviously is not at a point where you are actually genuinely interested in the answer.

The answer to the question is yes. The way the government is handling question time in relation to this, because the opposition still do not seem to understand and it is fairly straightforward to everybody else, is that as Treasurer I have certain responsibilities for TOCs in the ACT. You will also note, because I am sure particularly Mr Smyth will no doubt have them in front of him, that under the AAOs that have been tabled in this place the responsibility for water policy very clearly sits under the portfolio of the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. In fact, the department has water in the title.

Mr Hanson: It wasn’t a water policy question. It was about your own statements. It was about your decisions as a shareholder—and you wouldn’t answer it.

MS GALLAGHER: I have answered the question. Indeed, I answered a number of questions yesterday. I have answered Mr Coe. But, if you are genuinely interested in the answers around water security projects and water policy in general for the government, then it is entirely appropriate that you ask those questions to the responsible minister, if you are genuinely interested in the information. If what you are after is trying to have a go at me, then just stand up and be up-front about that.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?

MR COE: Thank you. Treasurer, why were you surprised, given you said yesterday in question time that you were being kept up to date at regular intervals?

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