Page 5082 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, will you guarantee funding for Galilee beyond the December period?

MS BURCH: What I have just said is that my department have requested further information about the program and its deliverables. That process is ongoing and, until that process is finished and confirmed, the answer remains no.

Cotter Dam—Actew advertising campaign

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Treasurer and it relates to the current Actew advertising campaign around the expansion of the Cotter Dam. Treasurer, how much is being spent on this advertising campaign and have you received advice from Actew as to how long the campaign will run?

MS GALLAGHER: I will take that question on notice. I know that Actew does have an advertising allocation in its budget for which it reports through the annual reports. I do not have that exact figure in my head, but I do recall that it is no different this year than it has been in previous years. It undertakes a range of community information sessions, including advertising, around the work that it is undertaking to secure the ACT’s water supply for the future. I will certainly see if we can get that for you during question time today.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Yes, thank you. Treasurer, have you received a briefing at all from Actew as to why this campaign is necessary? If so, could you outline to the Assembly the rationale for the campaign and what it seeks to achieve?

MS GALLAGHER: The discussions I have had with Actew—less about an ad in particular; more around their advertising strategy—are around a genuine public information campaign. This is the largest infrastructure project undertaken. It is happening close to our city. It is going to employ hundreds of jobs. It is going to have an impact on people using that area for recreation and I think the answer would be that, if we did not do community information or public information, there would be criticism around not understanding what is going on, the timetable and what Actew are actually trying to deliver for the ACT.

That is the conversation I have had with Actew, in general around their public information campaigns and, I think, from my understanding, they get a very high awareness rating when those campaigns are tested, showing that they are effective in giving people information about the work that is being undertaken by Actew.

MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you. Are you supportive, minister, of an advertising campaign that seeks to promote a project that has been so controversial and where it appears there has been some mismanagement by Actew?

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