Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 August 2008) . . Page.. 2941 ..
MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, last month you announced the ACT government’s priorities for its wish list application to the federal government’s building Australia fund. You mentioned a very fast train in your media release on the subject. However, much of your announcement focused on the inclusion of light rail in your list of major infrastructure projects. Chief Minister, can you advise the Assembly whether you have made any effort to engage with your counterparts in New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland in relation to a joint submission to the federal government for the construction of a very fast train?
MR STANHOPE: In a formal sense, Mr Mulcahy, no, I have not. Of course, a proposal for a very fast train is a proposal that would require in the first instance the full support of the New South Wales government and, indeed, the commonwealth government. I was pleased to have the opportunity which the Australia infrastructure fund presented and the invitation I received from Minister Albanese to make representations to him in relation to the projects that I believe the commonwealth should consider. I am pleased that, as a result of that, there has been a significant, broad-ranging community debate within the ACT, most particularly in relation to light rail. I hope and have every expectation that the commonwealth will take each of the suggestions I made seriously and that each of them will be formally assessed and, hopefully, progressed.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question.
MR MULCAHY: What preliminary work has the ACT government undertaken in this term of government in relation to a very fast train?
MR STANHOPE: I would need to check, but, beyond raising the issue in the way that I have, I am not aware of any formal work that has been undertaken in this term of this Assembly.
Gungahlin Drive extension
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister and concerns the Gungahlin Drive extension. Chief Minister, why did you state in your media release of 23 July that “$83 million has been set aside in the 2008-09 budget for the duplication of Gungahlin Drive” and why is this contradicted by the ACT Roads document tabled by your transport minister yesterday, through the office of the Speaker, which only shows $30 million was scheduled over the next five years for stage 2 of the Gungahlin Drive extension and which only allowed for works between Belconnen Way and the Glenloch interchange?
MR STANHOPE: The position the government has taken in relation to the Gungahlin Drive extension is that we have undertaken to deliver a duplication of the Gungahlin Drive extension in the term of the next Assembly if we are elected. In the context of that commitment that we would seek to deliver a completed GDE duplication in the next term of the Assembly, we have of course identified the fact that there is the billion dollar infrastructure fund, which is included in the budget as