Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 171 ..
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.02): I think this is a really annoying situation to find ourselves in with this just-circulated amendment to the motion. Both the original motion and the amendment have virtues. I think it is really frustrating in terms of good process that this turns up so late and there is no easy possibility of putting the two together.
If you look at the first part of Mr Coe’s original motion, what he has noted is basically what the Auditor-General said in her executive summary, which I have in front of me. The only real change would be that the Auditor-General said that without these, the integrity and probity of acquisition processes cannot be demonstrated. So whether that is a major issue or just an issue is debatable but I am not sure if anyone has got the knowledge to debate whether it is major or not.
Going through paragraph 1(a), the motion seems to be entirely factual with the one value judgment being whether it is major or not. Subparagraph (b) clearly is factual. Subparagraph (c) I suspect is factual but is only part of the fact. I assume that Mr Barr’s amendment, which has an earlier date of 13 September, is also correct and that this is one of these things that were announced on a number of occasions. But I have not followed it well enough to know how many times it was announced.
In relation to paragraph 2 where the motion calls on the government to provide information, clearly the government has foreshadowed that it will make a statement regarding its plans for the LDA. So that will clearly happen and Mr Barr is correct that the McPhee review is in the public arena and has been for some time. So I think what we really would like would be a combination of these two motions—basically Mr Coe’s motion with the updates from Mr Barr’s amendment. Yes, this is a really annoying situation to be in.
I am very pleased that Mr Coe brought forward this motion today. One of the reasons I am particularly pleased is that yesterday I asked Minister Barr a question about the LDA, the Auditor-General’s report and the discrepancies between the report and evidence provided at committee hearings about acquisitions under $5 million and whether they have been approved by the LDA board. Mr Barr said I should refer to the public record.
I have referred to the public record and I do so again. On 5 November 2015 the CEO and the CFO appeared before the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services. The transcript records that Mr Coe, the deputy chair, asked Mr Dawes, the CEO, in regard to the Glebe Park acquisition:
How many valuations were there? What did they come in at?
That is on page 20 of the transcript. Mr Dawes does not answer either of these questions and solely describes the informal valuation advice, which came in at almost four times the value established by the only formal valuation advice, as if it was a formal valuation.