Page 3370 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 17 August 2011

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Government office building

MR HANSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on 31 May this year, in relation to the big, new government office block, you said:

There has been enormous effort to scope this project, to analyse this project from every angle, whether it be from how we deliver it to the financial analysis to the needs analysis.

I think it is the most scrutinised infrastructure project that I’ve had anything to do with.

Chief Minister, this week your deputy announced a new review involving the private sector, stating that “we need to ensure that we’ve got the best delivery model”. Chief Minister, why is it necessary for Mr Barr to review this project when you had definitively stated that the delivery models had already been scoped?

MS GALLAGHER: I welcome the question from Mr Hanson. The answer to the question is: because governments need to continue to respond to their communities when they are rolling out significant policy or projects. In announcing our intention to build government office accommodation in both Gungahlin and Civic, we have had representations from the community and, indeed, from the opposition, around concerns with the cost of this building.

Now we remain confident that the analysis provided to us by our consultants is accurate, but there are plenty of people out there who have approached both me and the Deputy Chief Minister—at this point with no details yet to support their claims—and the indication given by the government is that issues have been raised with us around capacity to deliver the project and capacity to deliver it in a cheaper and more effective way, whether that is just around cost or other measures, including sustainability measures and things such as ownership and management of a building. We are prepared, because we have time, to consider and thoroughly explore those concerns. Certainly, the Deputy Chief Minister’s announcement around the decision he has taken was taken with my full support.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, why did you make the statement then that the delivery models had been scoped from every angle when obvious, basic market testing had not even been undertaken?

MS GALLAGHER: The analysis before the government—indeed, as you would know, Mr Hanson, because you have access to the reports as well—did look at a variety of delivery mechanisms. At the end of the day, that analysis to government, which you have been provided with, indicated that the design, construct, own, maintain model was the one that was most cost effective in the long run, considering all of the different variables for the ACT taxpayers.

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