Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 3861..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
It is interesting to note that in the outcomes of that very productive process the one discordant note was struck by the member for Eden-Monaro, Garry Nairn, the Special Minister of State. In spite of the very productive and very cooperative attitude of commonwealth officials at those meetings, it was Garry Nairn who essentially said, "Well, I don't really care what you propose. The commonwealth will not be participating in any of those upgrades in the Majura Valley or Pialligo."Who was it, after the completion of a very productive and cooperative suite of discussions involving the airport, business and the ACT and commonwealth governments, who spat the dummy and said, "Well, it has got nothing to do with the commonwealth"? It was the Liberal member for Eden-Monaro, the Special Minister of State, who poured cold water over the ACT government's efforts to get a cooperative outcome for the issue of traffic at Pialligo.
MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, why does Canberra have the worst transport links between the city and airport of any capital city in Australia?
MR STANHOPE: That is absolute nonsense. Certainly there are some frustrating delays along Pialligo Avenue from time to time for a short period of time in the morning and for a short period of time in the evening. But for anybody to stand up in this place and expect to be treated with some credibility on the basis of statements like "why does the ACT have the worst transport links in Australia"in relation to any section of our road is laughable. That is a laughable assertion to make in relation to traffic and traffic flows in the ACT.
I live in Belconnen and it takes me eight minutes to get to work. That is during the busy times, and that is without exceeding the speed limit during those periods of the day. At 8 o'clock in the morning I can drive from the Belconnen Town Centre to Civic in eight minutes, observing all speed limits and stopping at all red lights. For any member of this place to come into this place and to suggest or assert that the ACT has the worst traffic links in Australia is just so derisory that one wonders where they live or whether they perceive anything that is going on around them.
We have a system of roads, transport and traffic arrangements that is the envy of Australia and of most cities around the world. Accepting that there are moments of frustration at being required to wait sometimes in queues for as long as five or 10 minutes—
Mr Hargreaves: That's shocking!
MR STANHOPE: I know; it is just so awful, isn't it, as those people in Campbelltown climb aboard their cars or trundle down to the train station with the prospect of an hour or an hour and a half; those people in Sydney who get out of bed at 5 o'clock in order to get to work by 8.30 am.
That is the reality. There is always room for improvement, and certainly we acknowledge and accept absolutely the need for upgrades of Pialligo Avenue and roads associated with the airport and we will respond to that need, just as we have responded to the needs of Gungahlin, despite the impediments and opposition that the