Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (25 May) . . Page.. 2155..
MRS BURKE (continuing):
thank you for that. The report goes on to say that further litigation about the GDE is expensive and divisive and does not reflect the wishes of the Canberra community as a whole. This is what we are about in this place-making the best legislation we can for the whole, for the majority-not railroading people along the way. I take note of people in the gallery who have made this journey today. There are very hard decisions that have to be made, but we have to consider the majority.
Finally, I take on board Mr Cornwell's comments. Indeed I am not against light rail or other options. Excuse the pun, but it could be light years away before we would see anything like that happening in Canberra, because scrutiny of bills report 49 says:
Clause 8 confirms that no further or additional inquiries or assessments are required to be undertaken in relation to the environmental impact of the GDE by the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991 ('the Land Act').
So we see that the way is clear to proceed. How much more stalling, how many more reports and/or inquiries and reviews would the people of Gungahlin be subjected to while living in the hell of trying to get in and out of their suburb? It is not acceptable. I take on board Mr Cornwell's comments and I say that we should just get this debate over and done with today. Enough talk: let us get on and build that road.
MR STEFANIAK (11.35): Mrs Burke is absolutely right: there has been a lot of debate in relation to this issue, and that is crucially important when one considers the government's bill we are debating here today. I was interested to hear from Ms Tucker who, of course, passionately opposes this road. I looked forward to her moving a motion of no confidence in the government, the way she was carrying on.
The fact is that this has been a lengthy debate-not just here today but going back many years-about a road that is an essential part of Canberra's road network that has been on the drawing board for decades. There has been a lot of stuffing around in relation to this particular road. The government could have very easily avoided a lot of this by simply following reality; not trying to have a western route; and basically just backing what was there several years ago.
There is the result of an extensive amount of work-probably the longest committee inquiry in the history of this Assembly. The committee brought down its findings. There has been a lot of community consultation over many years. The rejection by the former Liberal government of the O'Connor Ridge spur, to my mind, took out most of the reasonable objections to this road. I think that would have been very problematic because it would have badly affected the environment. What we now have is a road on the eastern route which I think should have four lanes, as initially proposed. I agree with comments made by earlier speakers that there will still be bottlenecks if there is just one lane each way.
I believe that the preamble of this particular bill is a pretty good summary of it all. It refers to us as being a growing and thriving city, which we are, although we have a number of problems in that regard. At present we have problems in relation to water and water supply. That is something that will not go away and it cannot be put off indefinitely. That is why we have a policy in relation to that. It is essential that the needs