Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 167 ..
the fact the lease said that could not happen, and then paid $4.2 million for it. Once the opposition was on the case, they then tried to put up as many roadblocks as possible to prevent the opposition from getting the information and went as far as actually doctoring information before releasing it to us under freedom of information. It is a pretty serious integrity issue, and Mr Barr seems to gloss over it as if there is nothing to see here. It goes to the integrity of the government.
Just a day or two before the Auditor-General’s report came out the Chief Minister said he was going to split the Land Development Agency. Despite the fact that just a few weeks earlier he had said there were no problems whatsoever and everything was fine, a day or two before the Auditor-General’s report comes out the Chief Minister says, “Oh, actually, there are some issues at the LDA, and I’m going to split the agency.” He then appoints a reviewer—a former commonwealth auditor-general, Ian McPhee—who I gather has done an investigation of some sort; however, at this stage, I do not believe it has been made public.
The Chief Minister has been at the desk post election for about six weeks already, and we are very keen to know exactly what has transpired in this time; in particular, what is the progress of the McPhee review. What are his findings about the operations, especially of the governance arrangements at the LDA, the agency that Mr Barr has been presiding over for some years? That is why paragraph (2) of my motion calls on the government to provide to the Assembly by the last sitting day of this year—that is, by tomorrow—the changes to the governance arrangements that have been made since the Auditor-General’s report was published, the progress of the McPhee review, and the details of the announced split of functions from the LDA.
I note that there is a fair chance the government will be proposing legislation tomorrow which will facilitate the split of the LDA. However, that will not come into effect until that legislation is passed. The Chief Minister and the government have had nearly 10 weeks or so since the Auditor-General’s report was published; they have actually had a lot more time than that because they would have seen an advance draft of the Auditor-General’s report. So they have had a lot of time to get some governance arrangements in place. I do not think the government should be given the latitude of hiding behind the legislation they are tabling tomorrow and perhaps hoping to pass in February. They should have taken action already, and to that end I hope the government agrees with this motion and will give a genuine update on the progress of the review and what arrangements have changed since all this information came to light.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (3.51): I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
“(1) notes, regarding operations of the Land Development Agency (LDA):
(a) the Performance Audit Report No 7/2016—Certain Land Development Agency Acquisitions, undertaken by the Auditor-General;