Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 involved spotting something that was already on the government's capital works program. It would be difficult to justify a spotter's fee of $1.75m for something that was already on the government's capital works program. Mr Finch: What did I say? What was the explanation? Mr PARISH: His explanation was that it was for 14 months of development work that was carried out by Tipperary on the project before the contracts were signed. That was the explanation given for it. We were very curious about exactly what development work Tipperary had done that justified the $1.75m up-front payment. It must have been considerable. We had a look at what work it had done. What did we find on the New Parliament House Committee file? We found 5 pages of sketch plains with no details. That was all that was done. Nothing else was there. If someone were asked by an architect to pay $1000 for sketch plans of that nature, they could justly complain that they had been ripped off. Mr Finch: They would too. I agree. Mr PARISH: There is nothing else on file. Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to table those documents. Leave granted. Mr PARISH: Mr Speaker, apart from the $1.75m, we have an overall contract remuneration to Tipperary and Multiplex that is in the vicinity of 8.2% as I speak. That was the evidence given by the Department of Transport and Works officers before the Public Accounts Committee only a couple of weeks ago. If you convert the figures to a percentage based on a project cost of $l60m, you come up with a figure of 8.2% approximately. Department of Transport officials gave evidence that their estimate of a proper amount was about 5% to 5-5% for project management. The minister repeated that figure this morning. What I did not realise at the time and what I have subsequently ascertained from speaking to senior building industry people is that a normal commercial payment for the total of contract management and project supervision would be 5% to 5-5% for a project of this kind. Tipperary and Multiplex together are obtaining 8.2%, plus most of their overheads are met by the government. What we are talking about is at least 2.5%, if not more, over and above a commercial norm for this type of project. 2.5% does not sound much, but that is $4m that they are being given over and above what could have been obtained if this project had been put out to public tender. It was not put out to public tender. It was a sweetheart deal from the beginning - let direct to Warren Anderson and let direct to Multiplex ... Mr Finch: No! Mr PARISH: All of the local contractors were squeezed out of the way. The outcome has been a project that has blown out of all proportion on costs. That is clearly the explanation for it because, not only are Tipperary Investments and Multiplex on an extraordinarily generous percentage but the fact is that, the more the project costs, the more they make. The structures in place are totally inadequate for the purpose of preventing costs from blowing out completely. At least $36m of the blow-out is not accounted for by any explanation that the minister or his predecessors have ever given. It is not accounted for by design changes. It is not accounted for by inflation. It is accounted for by nothing that has been revealed so far. 10 142

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