Page 156 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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Roads—accident black spots

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, you have been well aware of a number of dangerous intersections in various parts of Canberra for quite some time now, and I am sure we all welcome the recent federal government funding to assist in getting these fixed. In Tuggeranong, these intersections include the Tharwa Drive-Lawrence Wackett Crescent intersection and the Norman Lindsay Street-Tharwa Drive intersections. In relation to the former, of course, we did petition you to get a move on there. Minister, given your access to a large capital budget, why have you waited for a federal bailout before doing something about these life-threatening hazards?

MR STEEL: We have not. We actually proposed to the commonwealth that they upgrade these intersections, as well as some rural roads in the ACT and a number of other projects for which they have not come forward with funding. So it was us that put up those proposals. I am very pleased to see that the commonwealth have accepted some of those—just a small number, including some of the intersections that Mr Parton mentioned.

One of the really unfortunate things, though, is that, in doing so, the commonwealth have decided that certain roads in the ACT are not rural roads. They think that they are urban. One of those, of course, is Boboyan Road—one that has been raised in here. We proposed further funding to upgrade that road. Unfortunately, the federal government have the view that this is an urban road and should accordingly be funded with less funding. That is unfortunate because this is clearly and patently not an urban road. It is largely unsealed and it services a small number of rural landholders, but it does need an upgrade.

I put it to those on the other side of politics to have a conversation with the minister responsible, the Deputy Prime Minister and minister for infrastructure, about getting our fair share of funding for road upgrades in the territory.

MR PARTON: Minister, when will you actually complete the rectification of these dangerous intersections, and all the others for which federal funding has been received?

MR STEEL: We have not received the funding. We will, hopefully, see in their upcoming budget where they have put that money, in terms of the profiling over the forward estimates and beyond. Typically, these projects from the federal government often have been funded way down the track. So we will need to have a look at the profile that has been proposed before we commit to getting on with these projects.

We were the ones that put them up. We want to get on with delivering safer infrastructure under our road transport strategy, under our road safety strategy. We are prepared to get on with it, and we will, of course, try and work with the commonwealth to deliver the important connections, the important infrastructure, that Canberrans rely on.

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