Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 February 2016) . . Page.. 564 ..
growing city and a growing community. We have a clear policy position which sets out when disclosure occurs in relation to the availability payment regime, and we will adhere to that policy. The policy was released long before this contract was contemplated. It has been on the public record, and it will be followed.
I note that Mr Rattenbury has foreshadowed that he will be moving an amendment in the amendment that he has circulated. The government does not support the motion as put forward by Mr Coe, but we will support an amended motion in the terms set out by Mr Rattenbury when he moves that amendment, because it makes clear what the government’s policy is and what the actions and approach of the government were—to disclose the full cost of this contract in the time period set out in our policy framework.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Corrections, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Road Safety) (6.11): I start my discussion by moving the amendment that I have circulated in my name:
Omit all words after paragraph (1)(b), substitute:
“(c) the ACT Government will release details of the availability payment after financial close of the contract negotiations with the preferred bidder.”.
I expect that this is an amendment that all members of the Assembly can support as it reflects the government’s commitment to transparency around this project. It notes that the government will make public the details of the availability payment after financial close of the contract negotiations with the preferred bidder and when there is an actual number to release.
I am quite intrigued by the idea we should release an approximate number—some number, “give us the number you think it is going to be”—when in fact in just a few short months time the government is committed to releasing the actual number. I think that is what the community wants to know. I think it is a much better approach. I think this amendment keeps the substance of Mr Coe’s motion, which is a call to make the availability payments public, but it does reflect the reality that the government will reveal availability payments at the appropriate time. That is when financial close occurs and there is an actual number to give to the community.
We are in important and detailed contractual negotiations with Canberra Metro, the preferred consortium, and I am sure the Liberals realise it would be inappropriate and may, in fact, be detrimental to table speculative availability payment figures. Of course the business case, which the government also made public, already outlines a great deal of information about costs and financing of the capital metro project.
On the issue of transparency, I emphasise that through my capacity as a Greens member of the government I have always emphasised the importance of transparency on this important project and the government as a whole shares this commitment.
Members will recall we voted in this Assembly for capital metro to have a special additional appearance at estimates hearings and an additional public hearing of the