Page 1478 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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In relation to the dam and the costs of it, we have had the ICAC report and we have comprehensively debated the issue in this place and in a range of committees. I do not think at this stage another inquiry is warranted because there is nothing in Mr Hanson’s remarks or in the motion that flags new issues he wants explored above and beyond the extensive report the ICRC has already done into the cost of Cotter Dam.

None of us are happy with the fact that, over time, we have seen the cost of the dam increase significantly from the initial estimates that were first made publicly available. There is a debate to be had—and it has been had extensively—about the wisdom of those original numbers and whether they were appropriate numbers to release into the public domain. But the ICRC looked at this extensively last year and produced a report for the Assembly which went through the numbers in considerable detail. Mr Hanson has made no case as to where he sees fault in the ICRC report and, therefore, why further investigation is required. That does not mean I am happy with the final cost of the dam, but it is what it is, and the ICRC has looked into it.

Let me turn now to some of the other matters in the motion. As far as water assets and operations are concerned, I am not aware of any particular complaints about this. Again, inevitably, this will be part of the existing audit, and I see no need to create the reference Mr Hanson has proposed.

The issue of governance is perhaps the most pressing. As I have said publicly on a number of occasions, I am concerned about some of the reports that we are seeing out of ACTEW. When it comes to how to deal with these matters, this brings me to the amendments put forward by Mr Barr. I have indicated that I will support the amendments because they set out a clear path of what is happening and will happen in relation to ACTEW and it keeps the Assembly informed of that process.

It is important to clearly set out the various processes that are taking place, and let me touch on a few of them in a bit more detail. Next week there is the special general meeting to canvass these issues, and the amendments undertake to report back on that meeting at the next sitting of the Assembly. It is a transparent process; it has got a clear time line on. I have looked at some of these matters and what is wanted by various members of the Assembly. As a result of my years in various political fora and experiences, what I look for, the things that matter to me, when talking about drafting text and drafting negotiations—whether it is at UN level or in the Assembly—are measurable outcomes and time frames.

What we have here is a measurable outcome in a report back to the Assembly that all of us will be privy to, and we have a time frame—the next sitting. So that is a fairly concrete outcome. It means that all members, even though it will be only the shareholders in that special general meeting, will have access to the information that comes out of that meeting.

Secondly, we turn to the issue of what has broadly been tagged corporate largesse. As the amendments note, the shareholders have requested an independent review of the integrity of that program of corporate sponsorship, I guess you might call it, and other

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