Page 3277 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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The future office accommodation strategy is now being influenced by the Government’s decision to proceed with the new ACT Government Office Building. The new government office will see significant consolidation of the current office accommodation and changes to planned office refits/refurbishments. The office accommodation strategy will now be revised in line with this decision.

Instead of having a strategy driving how you accommodate public servants, we have now got a single building driving a strategy. That is not a strategy and that is why this government gets into so much trouble over the delivery of infrastructure. We expected to see a strategy that made the case. Instead, we have got a building which now, in effect, is the de facto strategy, because there is not a great deal more to do.

Of course, there is the promise to go to Gungahlin, but this is why the government does not deliver projects on time, on budget and on scale. It is because they do not have the wherewithal to do the planning properly and they do not have the wherewithal to stick to their strategies.

There are two other recommendations. Recommendation 1 was:

… the ACT Government make no final decision with regard to the whole-of-government office building until the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has received a copy of the business case, and the economic and environmental analysis, together with any other relevant considerations, and have time to consider this information and report to the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Madam Assistant Speaker, I foreshadow that I will be taking up this issue in the public accounts committee. It is discourteous just to simply say, “Not agreed.” Sidelining the public accounts committee in this way and just saying, in effect, “You’re irrelevant because we’re the government and we’re going to do whatever we want anyway,” I think is the way that governments do get themselves into trouble.

The second recommendation was that the ACT government provide the standing committee with an assessment of the opportunity costs of going ahead with this project. Again, that has not been delivered. You have to question how they have come up with this as their number one priority when there are things like the Majura parkway—thankfully, the feds have bailed them out on that—discussions about light rail, perhaps a new convention centre or, indeed, a third major hospital. There are questions to be asked. Certainly, I am sure that the public accounts committee will be asking those questions and I know that the opposition will be asking those questions as well.


Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

Work Safety Act, pursuant to subsection 169(3)—Failure to comply with safety duty in public sector workplace—Work Safety Commissioner’s reports—

ACT Legislative Assembly Fore Court, London Circuit, Civic, ACT, 17 September 2010.

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