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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3567 ..

big ask, Madam Speaker. The removal of a dead tree that you fear may fall on your house, on your carport, on your car, on your barbeque area or on your kids’ swing set is not a big ask. But this government makes it feel like it is a big ask.

Canberrans deserve to and want to take pride in their neighbourhoods. It is the bush capital, not the overgrown bush capital. Make no mistake: this budget is about more of the same for city services. I would like to thank the hardworking city services staff. I saw many of them out on Monday morning. There were people out mowing; you could see them out inspecting playgrounds or cleaning barbeques. They work hard with the limited resources that they are given by this government. That is my point—the resourcing. It seems that they have to do more and more all the time with less and less. Then, all of a sudden, we might see a little boost to the budget because we have had cuts over the years, and we are expected to be grateful for it.

I hope that in future budgets we will see from this minister more resources for this area that Canberrans see as so important to their day-to-day life.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (10.35): I welcome the opportunity to speak on output class 1.6 of the 2021-22 ACT budget relating to Transport Canberra and City Services. I want to echo the comment by the Chief Minister that this is a budget which prioritises delivering on our election commitments. In particular, the budget initiatives within TCCS are all about providing new and better services to the community and making investments in new infrastructure for our growing city, as well as meeting many of our election commitments for the term.

This means investing in the strategic transport corridors which connect Canberra’s regions. The budget includes more than half a billion dollars in investment in some of the ACT’s key strategic transport corridors to better connect our newer suburbs, improve safety for commuters and support our public transport network.

We are supporting the growing community in the Molonglo Valley by funding the construction of the John Gorton Drive extension and by building a new bridge over the Molonglo River, just west of Coppins Crossing. We are also duplicating William Hovell Drive from John Gorton Drive to Drake Brockman Drive. Both of these projects will see construction of off-road shared paths for walking and cycling, linking with the existing shared path network.

For residents of Tuggeranong, upgrades to the Monaro Highway are on the way, with the budget delivering construction funding for the new grade separated interchange at Lanyon Drive. This will make the commute from Tuggeranong to the city safer and faster.

As members would be aware, the ACT government is undertaking significant preparation and planning to minimise the disruption associated with building light rail to Woden. This year’s budget includes funding to upgrade a well-known bottleneck in the road network—the Coranderrk Street roundabout on Parkes Way. This will help to better regulate traffic flow and improve the capacity of the intersection to cope with increased congestion associated with major infrastructure projects around the city.

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