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 Mr Finch: I know that he is. Mr Parish: Mr Speaker, the fact is that, contrary to what the minister would have the media believe, the letter from the Chief Minister was written in October 1988. It referred to the final deal and claimed that that was a fixed price contract. As has been his wont throughout this matter, the minister has been providing spurious explanations, introducing red herrings and deliberately distorting the facts whilst saying the first thing that has come into his head in the hope that, because we lack research resources, we will not be able to prove that he is simply making up figures off the top of his head. That is what he has done continually throughout this entire saga. It has not been only the Chief Minister who has stressed continuously until recently that this was a fixed price contract. I have already quoted what the member for Nightcliff said in this Assembly, and that was completely unequivocal - no rise and fall, no escalation, a fixed price and we would not run the risk of inflation costs. He is not the only one who said that. The Chief Minister said it. A former Minister for Transport and Works, the member for Leanyer, said it repeatedly. On 22 November 1988, he said: 'We are talking about a fixed price project with the maximum cost of $100m' . On the same date, the then minister was reported in the Parliamentary Record as saying: 'I want to stress that the fixed price arrangement being applied to the State Square project will ensure that we do not have to endure major cost blow-outs such as those that occurred during the building of our national parliament'. However, that cost is now up to $l65m and we are still counting. If he does not call that a major cost blow-out, what is it? Mr Finch: I will explain. Mr PARISH: There is no doubt that, from its commencement until quite recently, government ministers from the Chief Minister down have been swearing blind that this was a fixed price contract. Then, lo and behold, what happened? At a media briefing 2 weeks ago, the minister and his officers distributed a briefing kit to representatives of the media present that stated quite clearly that this had never been a fixed price project. Members interjecting. Mr PARISH: Perhaps members opposite do not think that it is terribly important or serious that ministers from the Chief Minister down have been swearing blind to Territorians since 1988 that it is a fixed price contract, but that the minister says now that it has never been a fixed price contract. The matter speaks for itself. However, it does not stop there. The distortions and lies about the figures and the cost of State Square have continued. The minister would have us believe that he has used figures that would indicate that the cost of the Parliament House, as it was designed originally without any design changes, was 856m. However, it was revealed in this Assembly this morning, in the New Parliament House Committee's own report, that the original design estimate was $46m, not ... Members interjecting. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr Manzie: Mr Speaker, he stands up and carries on. Mr SPEAKER: Order!

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