Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 927..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
That really is at the heart of the difficulties that every government has struggled with in relation to public transport, and we know how vital it is in the context of sustainability and dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. We know that the biggest issue confronting the world is climate change. We know that we must show leadership. Thirty per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions are from petrol; in other words, from cars. There is an equation there that none of us can avoid, and the primary way of dealing with it is, of course, through public transport. I will not apologise for or recant anything we have done, including the significant work that we have done in relation to planning bus lanes for the future.
MR SESELJA: I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, who is right, Mr Hargreaves, who says the project has been scrapped and will not go ahead in his lifetime, or you and Mr Corbell, who say that it has not been scrapped?
MR STANHOPE: As I have explained, I thought in some detail, in terms that I thought even somebody that was brought up on Boston Legal would understand and who takes his legal training from viewing that commercial television, at no stage has anybody said that the planning work in relation to the Belconnen to Civic busway would be scrapped or undone-at no stage and in no sense.
There is a question around the timing of the funding of the project. It is a significant project. It is a project valued somewhere in the order of $100 million-plus. That is a significant expenditure by a jurisdiction the size of the ACT. In fact, that is essentially, roughly speaking, traditionally the entire capital works budget for the ACT. That $100 million is about our annual expenditure. It gives some indication of the level of expenditure or investment we are talking about.
There is no doubt that the work that has been done is vital and necessary. It should have been done. Indeed, more work in relation to the reservation of other busways will be done, and it will be done by this government. We will not abandon the commitment to sustainable transport and we will not abandon the need to ensure that we continue to work and nurture ACTION and public transport in the ACT.
One of the most important issues, albeit one of the most difficult issues for government in the ACT, is the issue of encouraging something to which Canberrans have shown enormous resistance, and that is moving from their cars to our buses. It is something we cannot resile from. We cannot give up on it just because it is hard. We cannot give up on it in the way that the Liberal Party has given up on it. We will not give up on it. The Liberals have given up on it because they do not value public transport and, I think, at heart they do not value those that utilise public transport. But we do and we will not give up on it.
Public service-credit card use
MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, on Tuesday, 1 May you were asked by my colleague Mr Seselja about an instance where a named employee within the ACT government had made two cash advances on a credit card in the 2005-06 financial year. Despite making a statement after question time yesterday, Chief Minister, you have still failed to provide any detail about these cash