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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 157..


Mr Corbell: I have already answered the question.

MR MULCAHY: I am finding it very hard to hear myself think. How can the government contemplate spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a busway when it is making such massive losses on operations and on other areas of government activity?

I know the sensitivity of the minister on this. It is a dream. I understand the minister wants to be remembered for something worth while. The health and planning system would not be something that you would gloat about in this town, given the amount of letters I receive from constituents over the way those areas are handled. So I can understand a need to have some sort of legacy. The busway for the people of Belconnen sounds great, except that the changes in time that will be accomplished are relatively insignificant.

Mr Gentleman: That is why it has worked so well in other cities, I guess.

MADAM TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman, cease interjecting.

MR MULCAHY: Let me also set the record straight on matters of greenhouse gases. The opposition is very committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have had a long commitment on that. It extends back to the Carnell government. But to simply treat with contempt and dismiss the fact that we raise questions about the wisdom of this particular capital undertaking at this time in the territory's financial cycle hardly condemns us as philistines in terms of the environmental debate.

I have worked quite aggressively over the years on greenhouse challenge matters. I was responsible for ensuring the largest industry sector sign-up to greenhouse challenge agreements in this country-more than the coal industry, more than the steel industry. Along with my colleague Mrs Dunne, who has been very active in her pursuit of environmental issues, I feel quite strongly about the importance of preserving the environment for future generations of Canberrans. But that does not extend to indulging the minister's wish to build this monument, which the territory cannot afford, which clearly the outgoing Treasurer knows we cannot afford and which simply is unrequired in the current transport mix of the ACT.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (4.42): I now speak to the amendment before later coming back and closing the debate. It is becoming, unfortunately, the standard amendment, which is not really an amendment; it is a re-writing completely, which completely misses the point, and praises the government. We have become pretty used to that. It does not do much for the standard of debate in this place, but we are becoming used to it. I will address some of the details of the amendment. I am particularly interested in No (2) which states:

notes that the Sustainable Transport Plan concludes and recommends that a dedicated corridor system (such as a bus or transitway) with public transport services operating on a fully or partly dedicated right of way is justified for Canberra;


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