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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 August 2011) . . Page.. 3660 ..

… provide for access to the Bruce precinct and especially to Calvary Hospital for, at the minimum, emergency vehicles.

This recommendation was not implemented, and resulted in a woman giving birth in her car recently while stuck in traffic on the GDE en route to Calvary hospital. Minister, why didn’t the government implement the recommendation to build an emergency access road to the Bruce precinct from Gungahlin Drive?

MR CORBELL: As members would appreciate, access directly from Gungahlin Drive to the Calvary hospital is only feasible for northbound traffic. I understand that the woman involved—I would like to congratulate her on a safe birth, and on the birth of her young child; I am pleased that both she and her baby are well as it is always great news to see a baby brought into the world in a healthy way—was travelling south. Obviously, emergency access from the GDE was only feasible on the northbound lanes.

I am not quite sure how this issue is in any way relevant to the circumstances that occurred on the weekend. Quite seriously, are the Liberal Party now going to use the birth of a young baby to prosecute their political arguments about the Gungahlin Drive extension or are they going to try and raise themselves up a bit and show a bit of grace and dignity in this debate?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary?

MR HANSON: Yes, Mr Speaker, thank you. Minister, given that you said in the Assembly on 28 August 2001 that Labor “will also commit to ensuring that the road is built on time, because it needs to be built on time”, why has the government delivered the GDE seven years late?

MR CORBELL: This is a matter that we have had significant debate on in this place. The government has made its arguments in relation to this matter and it is not our problem if Mr Hanson does not understand what is a relatively straightforward argument.

I can advise members that in relation to emergency access, Roads ACT commenced discussions with Calvary hospital and the Ambulance Service in 2003 in relation to this matter. Calvary hospital was concerned that the general public would use the emergency access unless a controlled or secure access was provided. The Ambulance Service was concerned—

Mr Hanson: A point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Stop the clock, thank you.

Mr Hanson: My supplementary—and I will read it again—was: why has the government delivered the Gungahlin Drive extension seven years late? The question is directly about the delivery of the Gungahlin Drive extension being seven years late. It is not about emergency services vehicles.

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