Page 1029 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

briefings that I have received, I know that that work was done and I know that that work was put aside because of the rain event that began a couple of days before that meeting.

I believe that this is important information for members of this community because we need to have a baseline figure for what the estimated cost of the dam was projected to be before. It will clearly increase because of the rain. I want this on behalf of the people of the ACT for a number of reasons. They have a right to know, because this was a rolled-gold guarantee that the final cost of the dam would be $363 million. It seems that that is not the case, irrespective of the major rain in early March.

I do not want to be in the situation where the eventual cost of the dam is glossed over when they say, “Well, you know, unforeseen, the rain et cetera, and you could only expect it to blow out.” My understanding from the briefing I have received from Actew is that before 1 March, when it started to rain seriously, we were already facing extensive increases in the cost of the dam. That is borne out by the information provided to the Assembly this morning, when the minister told us the total project expenditure to 29 February is in fact $315.7 million. There is no way that the amount of work that needs to be done on the dam site—building roughly another 40 metres of dam wall and all the mortaring and the spillway walls et cetera—can be done for the remaining just under $48 million. The people of the ACT deserve to know what the issue is.

We have agonised over what is the appropriate wording. I want to put on the record for the information of the minister that the spirit of this is that the Assembly is asking for the information that was compiled by Actew at that time, and that we expect that information will be forthcoming. There was a discussion at the beginning of the luncheon break about whether the time that I called for—which was today—was appropriate given the commitments of the Actew board as they currently stand, so we came to an agreement, I think, for the beginning of the sitting on 27 March, which is the next time we sit next week.

I think this clarifies the issue. I thank members for their indulgence in providing leave to allow me to move this amendment, and I commend the amendment and the other amendment and the initial motion to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (3:03): I think we might have got to a point where everyone understands what information is required and when it can be delivered. My office has spoken with staff at Actew to ensure that this is accurately conveyed to them as, of course, the information that Mrs Dunne is seeking relates to documents prepared for a board meeting of the corporation.

As she indicated in her contribution this afternoon, she has received briefings on this matter so certainly is aware of the issues that were to be considered by the board at that 4 March meeting. As a shareholder, I too have been briefed on that matter, as has the Chief Minister. I understand that Actew were able to make briefings available to other members.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video