Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:02): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 221 standing in my name for today, relating to the WestConnex project.
Senator RHIANNON: I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Australian National Audit Office has undertaken an audit to assess whether appropriate steps were taken to protect the Australian Government's interests and obtain value for money in respect to the $3.5 billion in funding committed to the WestConnex project,
(ii) the report concludes that the May 2014 decision to make the $500 million advance payment led to the project being approved without there being any documented analysis and advice to ministers that the statutory criteria for giving such approvals had been met, and
(iii) funds have been paid in advance of project needs and the payment method did not adequately protect the Government's financial interests; and
(b) condemns the Government for advancing federal funds to projects including WestConnex, the East-West Link and the Perth Freight Link prior to proper business cases being developed or approved by Infrastructure Australia, and diverting funds from public transport projects which had business cases and Infrastructure Australia approval.
Question agreed to.