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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1626..


Gungahlin Drive extension

MS GALLAGHER: My question to the Minister for Planning relates to the article in today's Canberra Times concerning the Commonwealth's budget announcement on the proposed upgrade of the Australian Institute of Sport and the associated statements by Mr Bartels, the chairman of the board of the Australian Sports Commission, about the future of the Gungahlin Drive extension. Minister, can you respond to Mr Bartels reported statement in relation to the future of the road?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Gallagher for the question. I was very disappointed, as was the government, to see the comments from Mr Bartels. Mr Bartels is reported in the paper today as saying "the executive of the Commission will continue to work with the ACT government to stop the road". Mr Speaker, I can assure members that the ACT government is not working with the Australian Institute of Sport to stop the road. Indeed, far from it. The only people interested in stopping this road are those opposite. The only people interested in stopping this road for Gungahlin residents are those people opposite and their Liberal cronies in the federal parliament.

Mr Speaker, the negative comment that we have seen from the Australian Sports Commission really does highlight, I believe, a matter which is of serious concern to the ACT government, and that is that it would appear that the Australian Sports Commission and the AIS have already made up their minds about the Gungahlin Drive alignment along the western route-and that is, they don't want it. Despite the fact that studies in relation to the alignment of the road have not been completed, the final alignment has not been determined, and noise, air quality and a range of other environmental assessments have not yet been completed, they have appeared to have already made up their minds.

The only conclusion one can draw is that those opposite have sought to exercise their influence with their Liberal cronies federally to try to prevent the residents of Gungahlin from getting this road. That can be the only conclusion that can be drawn. This is a blatant disregard of the election commitments of this government and of the community that voted for this government. It is quite unacceptable-

Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Ms Gallagher's question was about Mr Bartels and the interaction between the Sports Commission and the government. I didn't actually hear her mention the Liberal Party.

Mr Stanhope: It was about the porky he told. It was about the big porky he told.

Mr Smyth: Simply for the record, we actually picked a route, we have done the work, we have done the draft variation, and we have money in the budget to fund the eastern route. So we are very keen to get ahead with building the road.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, if the opposition didn't interject so much perhaps they wouldn't draw such attention to themselves.

Mr Smyth: Well, Mr Speaker, one must interject when one is being misrepresented. Quite clearly, Mr Corbell in answering this question is endeavouring to hide his shame.


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