Revelations in today’s Australian that the ACT Labor Government knew about the huge escalation in costs of the Cotter Dam before it formally agreed to the project, is in contradiction to past statements, Shadow Treasurer Alistair Coe said today.

“For years, Andrew Barr and ACT Labor have been denying that they knew that the cost had blown out before Andrew Barr gave planning approval for the project,” Mr Coe said.

On 15 September 2015, Mr Andrew Barr told the Assembly:

It is significant to note that the audit report found no evidence to suggest that ACTEW or the government intentionally misled or deceived the public in reporting changes to the costs of the enlarged Cotter Dam during the planning and construction phases.

“However, evidence presented in today’s Australian suggests that the Government was informed of the $363m price tag for the dam through a letter from ACTEW.

“It seems that the Labor-Green Government has actively deceived Canberrans by not advising that they knew of the huge rise in costs.

“On top of the damming findings by the Auditor-General about a lack of integrity and governance arrangements in the Chief Minister’s agency, today’s revelation is further evidence of a cover-up culture.

“The Government continues to be secretive about multi-million dollar deals,” Mr Coe concluded.