Page 174 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 26 February 2014

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was placed on the register of members’ interests. It was removed from the register of members’ interests when that contract was cancelled due to a decision I made, and my now wife made, that we did not wish to proceed with that purchase for personal reasons. As a result of that decision I forfeited the balance of my deposit on that land.

Those decisions were all taken prior to the establishment of any process for a solar auction. Those decisions were taken prior to any policy decision on the part of the government to enter into arrangements to procure renewable energy facilities through a solar auction. And those decisions were particularly made before there was ever any prospect or suggestion or any knowledge to anybody that there would be a renewable energy plant proposed at Uriarra. The connection between the two is without any substance, without any basis in fact, and I have acted appropriately in all the circumstances. (Time expired.)

ACT public service—executive contracts

MR COE: My question is to the Chief Minister and it relates to executive salaries in the ACT public service. Chief Minister, the contract tabled for the Director-General of the Capital Metro Agency included an annual salary of $325,239. Of that, $89,066 is a special payment personally approved by you, which means that the Director-General of Capital Metro is paid an identical amount to the new head of the ACT public service. Chief Minister, why did you approve the special payment and what criteria were used to conclude that this role was worth the same as the head of the ACT public service?

MS GALLAGHER: I was provided with advice about the preferred candidate of Capital Metro after going through a rigorous merit selection process. As part of that there was advice provided to me about appropriate salaries, including allowances that can be made to supplement the Remuneration Tribunal’s designation of salary, and I accepted the advice I received.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, what criteria was used to conclude that the Director-General of the Capital Metro Agency was worth more than the Director-General of the Health Directorate, the biggest directorate in the territory and responsible for a quarter of the ACT’s budget?

MS GALLAGHER: I will concentrate on the salary for the capital metro. Again, I have been asked questions in this place. The jobs are very different, and appropriate remuneration is provided to all directors-general in relation to the work that the government asks them to do. In relation to capital metro, it was around the skills, capabilities and the right person for the job. It was supported by advice to me from officials who had been involved in the merit selection process and the ability, within the law, within the public sector management standards, to provide additional remuneration where appropriate for a particular purpose. I accepted that advice.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

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