Page 5312 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, will you guarantee that you and any member of your staff have no conflict of interest in the conduct of this inquiry?

MR BARR: Yes, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a further supplementary?

MR SMYTH: Yes, a supplementary, Mr Speaker. Minister, will you guarantee that you will allow the board to continue to be independent?

MR BARR: Yes, Mr Speaker.

Water—supply options

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, and it relates to information that informed the government’s decision to proceed with the Cotter Dam project at a cost of $363 million. Minister, can you explain why economic analysis undertaken by the Centre for Independent Economics in August of 2009 on the net economic benefit of new water supply options did not compare the Cotter Dam project directly with the Tantangara transfer option but, rather, included the Cotter project in three out of four scenarios modelled?

MR CORBELL: That modelling was not commissioned by the government; it was commissioned by Actew Corporation. I will have to seek advice from Actew as to what the parameters were for the commissioning of that work.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Thank you. Minister, given that the net economic benefits for Angle Crossing and Tantangara appear larger than those for the Cotter Dam under the 2070 climate scenario, are you concerned that there was no analysis provided of a combined Angle Crossing-Tantangara transfer option?

MR CORBELL: Again, the parameters for that work were undertaken by Actew. They commissioned the report and they would have set the parameters for that work. So I would again indicate that I would seek advice from Actew as to the reasoning for that. I understand that document has been provided to all members of the Assembly already.

In relation to the comparison of relative projects, it is important to remember that the water transfer from Angle Crossing to Googong with water being purchased from Tantangara is not sufficient in and of itself to deliver the water security we need for this city. Tantangara and Cotter are both needed to provide us with the level of water security that the community is looking for. So it is important that any analysis give consideration to that. In relation to the specific question Ms Hunter is asking, I will seek some further advice from Actew and provide an answer to the member.

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