Page 5313 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, have you seen analysis that provides direct comparisons of the net economic benefit of each of the water security projects individually?

MR CORBELL: Yes. The government is provided with a range of analyses at different points about the net economic benefit of all these projects.

MS LE COUTEUR: I have a supplementary supplementary. What other information was the government provided with, in addition to the final cost of the project, which assisted you to make the decision to proceed with the extended Cotter Dam project as the most effective option for securing Canberra’s water supply?

MR CORBELL: I am interested in the line of questioning, Mr Speaker. It seems to suggest that the Greens do not believe that Cotter Dam is a cost-effective project, and perhaps they do not support it. That would seem to be the underlying assumption of the question.

The Cotter Dam is an important project for Canberra. The government supports it. We believe that it is important and we believe that the community wants to see that project go ahead to provide the water security that our city needs.

In relation to the specific analyses that have underpinned the government’s decision making around which project should proceed, all that information is available. It has been made available in response to the request that the Assembly made through the resolution of the Assembly in the last month or so—it has since been provided by Actew. In a range of reports that have been tabled over the last three to four years, the government itself has indicated its views on the comparative benefits of different water security projects. All of that material is already on the public record.

Consolidated annual financial report

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the consolidated annual financial report that you tabled last week shows that total employee expenses for the general government sector increased by 9.6 per cent or $103 million between the financial year 2007-08 and the financial year 2008-09. Treasurer, how much of the increase is attributable to increasing staff numbers and how much is attributable to wage increases?

MS GALLAGHER: The wage increases contained in the certified agreement are roughly in the order of around three per cent per annum. There have been some staff increases for the territory, and they have been outlined clearly in the budget papers that Mr Smyth would have. I think there have also been in the consolidated financial reports some technical adjustments as well around employee liabilities, and I am happy to report back to the Assembly on the exact nature of those.

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