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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (25 May) . . Page.. 2159..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The Labor Party took a slightly different position. It was: "We will build the road but we will build it on our route."They were elected to build a road. I think that, given the numbers that both the government and the opposition on each of those occasions had in this place, you could get a clear indication-a clear read-that the majority will of the people of Canberra is to build the road, and not just for Gungahlin.

Many members have concentrated on Gungahlin. Mr Pratt mentioned Tuggeranong. I will mention Tuggeranong, Woden and Weston as well, because this road services their needs. It completes the network. You have got the central corridor; there will be an eastern corridor when the Majura Parkway is built. This completes the western corridor that allows rapid transit through the city and connections north and south. Mr Pratt has alluded to emergency services needs. I will simply say that the average commuter from Tuggeranong, if they work in Gungahlin, will see this road as a godsend. If you want to go to Yass or Melbourne and you live in Tuggeranong, it will be the quickest route out of the city. It is a practical road, and an important one.

I believe it is important that we pass this legislation today. To delay any longer is to add to the cost, inconvenience and indecision. As members have said, those who come out of Gungahlin every morning live with this as a nightmare and have lived with it certainly for the last two or three years. Because of the government's delay and the glacial pace at which capital works occur under this government, I suspect they will be affected for at least another two if not three years.

We on this side are in favour of the road and indeed a four-lane road. It would be interesting for the minister to tell us, and put on the record in this place, when the government intends to build the other two lanes. From my understanding of what was said at estimates last week, when the other two lanes are built it will add another $50 million to the cost-if they are built immediately. If they are delayed it will add another $10 million on top of that.

For every year of delay you have to add CPI. If you make it $3 million, that is $3 million a year. So a road project that was to cost $53 million in 2000-01 will cost this territory probably $130 million, if not more, because of Mr Corbell's foolish pride and the promise Mr Corbell made that he knew he could not keep. I think the minister needs to come clean and tell us when the government fully intends to try to keep that promise because it is quite unclear at this stage.

What we do today is legislate for commonsense. We would urge the government-I would urge the minister-to proceed rapidly. It is quite clear that 15 of the 17 members today will back the building of this road, and the government should do it quickly. I think we should end the fuss and try to complete the infrastructure networks that the people of Canberra not only deserve but that the majority of the people of Canberra want and want now.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.53), in reply: The Gungahlin Drive extension has the broad support of ACT residents. It is appropriate then that this legislation to get the road moving has the


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