Page 313 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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Mrs Dunne’s amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Government office building

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.53): I move:


(1) the matter pertaining to the Government Office Building be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report;

(2) the Committee is to investigate the Government’s:

(a) decision to discontinue this project;

(b) consideration of the opportunity cost of the project against other significant infrastructure projects;

(c) status on its whole-of-government accommodation strategy subsequent to its latest decision;

(d) business case, economic analysis, environmental analysis, design, planning, procurement and risk management considerations to date;

(e) financial basis for the $34.5 million claimed savings; and

(f) finances expended and committed thus far; and

(3) the Standing Committee on Public Accounts shall report on its inquiry by the last sitting day in May 2012.

I am moving this motion today because this is an unresolved matter. There are too many questions left unanswered and too many alleged financials left unaccounted for in what Ms Gallagher has billed as the most scrutinised project she has ever been involved in. Given that taxpayers have footed millions of dollars in consulting bills for a project that turned out to be a nothing initiative under Ms Gallagher and Mr Barr, Canberrans deserve some hard answers.

This motion also is our support for PAC’s three recommendations on the government office building presented by Ms Le Couteur as early as 15 February 2011. The government saw no need to refer to PAC an opportunity cost analysis of the project against other infrastructure projects in the ACT, the business case and the economic and environmental analysis of the project and a finalised copy of the whole of government office accommodation strategy. We did not and do not agree with the government’s position, as it is aimed at doing nothing more than obscure the facts. This is a dodgy initiative concocted for all the wrong reasons.

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