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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1844..

MR HARGREAVES (5.30): Pursuant to notice, I move:

That Subordinate Law 2004-12, Land (Planning and Environment) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No 1), be disallowed.

Mine is a mechanical role in this process. In my view the people of Gungahlin have been detrimentally treated by a group of people who will use every ruse to prevent any extension at all to the Gungahlin Drive. People of the ACT voted for the western route of the GDE. The Liberal Party arranged, with their non-elected mates in the NCA, to force the GDE to the eastern route, closer to the area known as O'Connor Ridge. The lobby group there opposed to the road supported the preferred western route but are now using every loophole available to them to prevent the construction of the road.

These regulations address the issues raised by Justice Crispin. They permit the majority will to prevail over the guardians of the no-road-at-all position. The legal battles are costing the Territory more than $25,000 a day; they continue the frustration of Gungahlin residents and will in the end achieve nothing. My motion is intended to bring to a close the uncertainties of the role of the territory and the NCA with regard to the GDE. I hope the conclusion of the debate today will result in commonsense being brought to the issue.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (5.32): As my colleague Mr Wood indicated on 4 May this year when he tabled the Land (Planning and Environment) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No 1), the government is committed to building the Gungahlin Drive extension and believes the project must proceed as soon as possible.

The government has taken the unusual step of moving a disallowance motion on its own regulations to bring forward this debate to minimise the potential for further delay to the project. The government has taken this step because we believe the majority of the members of this place wish to see the Gungahlin Drive extension proceed as quickly as possible and that they will support the government in opposing this motion. This will remove the further potential source of delay to the project and reduce the exposure of the ACT community to further unnecessary costs.

Members will be aware that Gungahlin Drive, in its various names, has been in the planning pipeline for around 40 years. The original proposal contained in the NCDC's 1965 strategic plan for the future of Canberra was for the road to run across O'Connor Ridge and down the eastern side of Black Mountain and to cross Lake Burley Griffin at Black Mountain Peninsula. This understandably controversial proposed alignment was replaced with one very similar to the current proposed alignment to the 1970 NCDC strategy document Tomorrow's Canberra.

Of course, more active consideration of the road commenced some 20 years ago with the decision to proceed with the development of Gungahlin itself. The concept of a parkway style road running approximately along the proposed alignment was confirmed in the NCDC's 1984 metropolitan policy plan and again through the extensive investigations carried out as part of the Gungahlin External Study, or GETS as it was know, in the late 1980s.

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