Page 3011 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 15 September 2015

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ACTEW as owner, were clearly and appropriately articulated in the alliance agreement. The alliance established a comprehensive set of policies and procedures documents to help guide the management and administration of the projects. ACTEW implemented effective monitoring and oversight arrangements to ensure it received regular information on the progress and fulfilments of the alliance and its projects.

The report did find, though, that the optimistic and ambitious production targets had resulted in unrealistic expectations for the cost and time lines of the enlarged Cotter Dam project. It also considered some aspects of the alliance process could have been better managed. The audit acknowledged there were extenuating circumstances beyond the control of management that increased certain costs and delayed the completion of the enlarged Cotter Dam. These factors included significant periods of bad weather and three major flood events, including a one-in-100-year flood event and the discovery of a geological fault.

The government notes the findings of the audit, which illustrate the extent of the challenges and inherent risks associated with the planning, preparation, design and construction of large and complex major infrastructure projects. It is significant to note that the audit report found no evidence to suggest that ACTEW or the government intentionally misled or deceived the public in reporting changes to the costs of the enlarged Cotter Dam during the planning and construction phases. Icon Water, formerly ACTEW, has accepted the findings of the report, which provide valuable lessons for each of the alliance partners to take forward.

In closing, I note that all three major water security projects have been successfully completed, and the ACT community now has a significantly improved water storage capacity that provides security against future climate change impacts. With this enhanced capacity, the ACT can avoid resorting to severe water restrictions during prolonged droughts. I commend the government’s response to members.

Auditor-General’s report No 7 of 2015—government response

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Auditor-General’s Act, pursuant to subsection 17(6)—Auditor-General’s Report No 7/2015—Sale of ACTTAB—Government response.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: On 17 June 2014, the Select Committee on Estimates recommended that the Legislative Assembly refer the sale process of ACTTAB Ltd to the ACT Auditor-General to consider a review of the sale. In September 2014 the Auditor-General announced her decision to conduct a performance audit on the sale of ACTTAB.

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