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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 22 ..

Mr Coe that was subsequently amended by Ms Le Couteur. The motion called on the government to abandon the current proposed alignment of Well Station Drive in favour of an eastern alignment.

In response to the motion, an alternative eastern alignment, adjacent to Sullivans Creek, was further investigated by the ACT Planning and Land Authority and the Department of Territory and Municipal Services. These investigations found that the suggested realignment would add significantly to the cost of the road and result in a less efficient traffic outcome. In short, to realign the road would cost ACT taxpayers an extra $5 million and take about an extra 18 months to construct. This delay would severely compromise the government’s residential land release in Gungahlin in the short to medium term.

The investigation found that there were a number of problems with the proposed realignment adjacent to Sullivans Creek. The ground next to the creek is considered by engineers to be not suitable for road construction. The alluvial soil would need to be removed and replaced. This, I am advised, is a lengthy and expensive procedure. Also, the road would need to be built at a higher level to prevent inundation from Sullivans Creek during flooding. The side of the road would also require protection against flood waters to prevent it from washing away. Finally, an alternative eastern alignment would require the relocation of the Well Station Drive and Horse Park Drive intersection. For this to occur, the existing bridge over Sullivans Creek would need to be widened to incorporate turning lanes into Throsby and Well Station Drive. There is also the possibility that the bridge is not structurally capable of being widened and would need to be replaced. All of these factors would add significant costs.

In light of this information, and following extensive discussions between my office and that of Ms Le Couteur, the Greens party have reached the same conclusion as the government—that such an investment in a realignment does not represent the best use of taxpayers’ dollars.

I can assure the Assembly, as I have the Greens party, that the concerns of residents proposing this realignment have been listened to. ACTPLA has organised an information newsletter that was delivered to residents in Harrison. There has also been a dedicated feedback email address, where those who raised concerns received a personal response from ACTPLA’s planning services branch director. ACTPLA staff also gave a presentation to the Gungahlin Community Council meeting on 11 November last year and responded to residents’ concerns. Senior government officials, including the Director of Roads ACT, met with concerned Harrison residents on site. Those officials were able to confirm that all relevant design and construction standards for the new road would be met.

I can assure the Assembly that issues such as noise and traffic safety have received thorough attention in the road’s design. I have been advised that an independent road safety audit has been undertaken on the road design and that the final design meets all required standards and specifications. I can also report that the government has brought forward the signalisation of the intersection of Well Station Drive and Horse Park Drive in response to the issues raised by residents.

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