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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2180 ..


Indeed. It says that over the last five years:

… the ACT Government’s expenditure on repairs and maintenance increased by 55 per cent …

It says:

Like the city itself, much of the ACT’s infrastructure is relatively young compared to other Australian cities. However, over the next 10 to 20 years, as our built assets age, there will be a need for higher levels of repairs …

It is a lot of statements of the obvious, without an actual plan. There are only a couple more paragraphs on this major area of maintenance. It says:

Maintaining and optimising the use of existing infrastructure, rather than expanding networks, is expected to become a higher priority in the coming years.

That is about as close as we get to talking about the future when it comes to maintenance. It is about as close as we get. But there is no plan for how we are going to do it.

It goes on to financing—“Financing the ACT’s future infrastructure needs”. It says that we could borrow money and there might be PPPs, used in other places. And that is about it. There is nothing about what strategies we are going to put in place to make sure we have the funds for the infrastructure we need. There is never an asking of the question “Where do we want to be in 10 years time, 30 years time and 50 years time and what do we have to do now to get there?” There is none of that—absolutely none of it.

That is why it fails. They just grab it together. They went out to the departments and they said, “What are you doing?” They said: “Tell us what you are doing in infrastructure, TAMS.” Tell us what you are doing in infrastructure, Health.” And they put it into a document. And they did it in such a shoddy way that it had to be withdrawn in the first 24 hours—and not just because of the spelling mistakes. It should be withdrawn because it lacks substance. It should be withdrawn because it lacks vision. It should be withdrawn because this government has not bothered to do the work. It has not bothered to do the work.

In the end, people will ask the question again. Over the last nine years, for all the talk, what have we got in infrastructure? How have things improved? The government always say, “We will spend X hundred million dollars this year.” What have you achieved? We know that their best effort at a road has taken the best part of a decade, and they could not even get it right. People are still waiting in traffic. They are still waiting in traffic because they could not get it right.

This infrastructure plan condemns people of the ACT to more of the same—waiting in traffic on Gungahlin Drive, waiting in traffic on Majura parkway. Waiting for basic services and infrastructure will continue if this is the best they have got. If this is the best they have got then this truly is a government which has run out of puff.


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