Page 3634 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 22 November 2022
The ACT government is continuing to work with the commonwealth on upgrades to our rural and regional roads, including Boboyan Road. We are in discussions with the federal government to reclassify regional rural roads in the ACT, which are currently classified as urban roads, so that they are classified as rural roads, and they attract the full 80 per cent commonwealth funding, as in other states and territories.
That is something that was a real problem that lasted over the 10 years of the previous coalition government. It is one that they failed to rectify when it was raised with them. We are now working with the commonwealth to address this. The federal budget reflects that agreement has not yet been reached on that reclassification, but we will continue to advocate.
The ACT government has never suggested that that road be defunded. In fact, in the ACT budget, the ACT government committed to fund upgrades to key sections of Boboyan Road on the basis of an 80-20 funding split being agreed with the commonwealth government through the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects. We will continue that discussion with them.
After almost a decade of underfunding from the commonwealth in ACT infrastructure projects, we are very keen to ensure that any funding for ACT projects remains in the nation’s capital. The extra funding for light rail that the federal government have announced is very welcome. It ensures that commonwealth investment remains in the ACT, as we continue to work on collaborative infrastructure priorities with them.
It is worth emphasising that I have been advised that the ACT was the only jurisdiction in Australia where federal funding towards infrastructure projects did not go backwards in the federal budget in October. We were the only state or territory that did not have its overall commonwealth infrastructure spend cut. In fact, the federal government gave us more funding, through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, for road maintenance. They gave us funding for the garden city cycleway active travel project, and they gave us funding for the youth foyer, which will deliver important housing infrastructure for young people at risk of homelessness.
Road infrastructure—this is something that the former coalition government did not understand—is not the only infrastructure that we need as our city grows. We need community infrastructure, housing infrastructure, health infrastructure and education infrastructure, as well as transport infrastructure. Transport infrastructure also means public transport and active travel. The ACT government will continue to advocate for the infrastructure that our city needs.
This motion only tells the community that if the Liberals have their way, they will not support light rail stage 2 to Woden, despite their commitment to support it at the election. In fact, earlier today—twice, earlier today—the Leader of the Opposition spectacularly failed to commit to support building light rail to Woden. When it comes to light rail, the Canberra Liberals simply cannot help themselves. They have never supported light rail in Canberra, and they never will. Things were supposed to be different under a new opposition leader, yet it is clear that she cannot control the