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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 347 ..


none of us can predict and which come out of left field. We have to deal with those, and sometimes that has impacts on the delivery timetable. No reasonable amount of pre-planning would be able to completely remove such risks.

However, we do believe that we have put enormous work into improving our capital works program. Let me compare the capital works program when we came to government to what it is today. The previous Liberal government’s capital works programs—in the order of $68 million, from memory—just fade. That is almost our minor upgrade program now. Our minor upgrade program sits at just over $40 million, and that is just through the minor work that is required across our existing assets.

We have a very ambitious program. I know it is one that industry is working with us to deliver. I look forward to continuing to work hard and make sure that we do the best we can, build up our asset base with high-quality public infrastructure and are able to do it for some years to come. I thank Treasury and all the staff across the ACT public service—indeed, people from outside the ACT public service who work with that same aim. I know that there are many people that work very hard to deliver these projects of high quality. They work hard to deliver them on time and on budget.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (3.50): The implementation and management of major capital works projects is one of the key functions of government and a core component of the appropriation of taxpayer funds. Capital works projects undertaken by the government form the backbone of a vibrant economy and provide essential services to the community.

Infrastructure has a direct bearing on the sustainability of our region, determining industrial and economic activity, urban development and community dynamics. The Greens believe that, in relation to the provision of significant infrastructure into the future, more than ever before it is critical that long-term planning is the key component of any capital expenditure. It is vital that we are spending our money on projects which will still be standing, useful and suitable, in 50 years time and beyond, and that the selection of infrastructure projects best serves the needs of taxpayers. There is little point spending significant amounts of capital on infrastructure which will be redundant in a decade or two. It is not only a waste of funding, but a waste of finite resources.

I would like to bring to the Assembly’s attention that the Liberal Party proposed an extremely similar MPI only four months ago. I addressed the Assembly during that MPI, and today I reiterate the Greens’ concern regarding a few of the projects. One is the Gungahlin Drive extension and the lack of adequate risk assessment with respect to cost-benefit analysis; the increase of carbon emissions and lead pollution from car exhausts; the additional loss of vegetation on O’Connor Ridge; and the reduction of recreation use of the ridge and Black Mountain nature reserves. Quite simply, these costs were not factored into the analysis of expenditure for the Gungahlin Drive extension.

I also repeat the Greens’ concerns relating to the Majura Parkway project and the importance of assessing the value of infrastructure projects, not just as the building of a single major road but as part of the future transport network that Canberra must be


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