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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 361 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 August 2017 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon A. MacTiernan
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 15 August 2017

DEPARTMENT OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT — FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS
      361. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Regional Development:
I refer the minister to financial assistance agreements signed by proponents of projects who have been in receipt of royalties for regions funds.
      (1) Has the minister sought the State Solicitor's advice, or the advice of another party, as to the legal capacity of the state to renege on signed agreements with such parties in the circumstance that there has not been a default of the terms of the agreement?
      (2) Does this advice confirm advice received by some local governments that the state, in fact, does not have a good case if it were to unilaterally reduce the state's commitment to fund projects with a signed FAA with a partner organisation?
      (3) Given the minister has instigated a value optimisation review for the Busselton Airport project, which has a signed FAA with the City of Busselton, is the minister simply seeking its support for savings, or is it her intention to force its hand, despite the potentially tenuous legal position of the state?
      (4) Is it the minister's intention to pursue funding reductions for other approved projects that have signed FAAs with the Department of Regional Development and have not defaulted on any project commitments?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for notice of the question.
      (1)–(4) We have been in productive dialogue with several local governments with financial assistance agreements, discussing how we manage budget repair while allowing the projects to go forward in a cost-effective manner. We anticipate mutually satisfactory agreements on all matters.