Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2694 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
What you need to understand is that, while you may see very clearly that people in this place have agreed on certain inappropriate or appropriate actions such as the Dedman east option, that is never particularly reassuring to people in the community. We need to be telling people in the community more often what we believe if we continue to stick with what appear to be quite good recommendations. Our group quite consistently contacted Mr Wood as Minister over the issue and he was prepared to look at the community option, but people in the community right now are still very concerned about it because they are not really sure that people in this place understand how important the bush areas and the hills are to residents of this place.
If you look at the debate, Mr Humphries said last time, and he has not actually contradicted himself:
Anything of this kind raises the question of the value of particular environmental assets. How much is a piece of nature park worth versus, say, the cost of building a more expensive motorway? All those sorts of issues are real.
The reason that Greens are getting elected into parliaments is fundamental to that question. How much is the environment worth versus the cost of a road? These questions, when they are asked, make people in the community feel very concerned in this economic-rationalist-driven climate we have at the moment in this country. That is why this is not a meaningless motion and that is why it is important that we continue to debate the issues. Mr Humphries, I sat through the hearings of John Langmore's joint parliamentary committee when it was looking at this issue and I heard highly paid, expert planners - I think they were from the NCPA - talk about a road that would cut through the Botanic Gardens, but that would be okay because they could build an expensive overpass to avoid noise pollution in the gardens. People in the community were asking, "Why are we spending money on this high-tech solution to the problem? It is ridiculous. All you need to do is take the road onto the other side of Black Mountain". I will talk about Black Mountain in a moment.
You are saying that obviously the community option would have an EIS. What we are asking is that it be given serious consideration and that an EIS be done on that option, that it be seen as a serious option. When the Gungahlin travel study was done there were not very many people living there and theoretical beings were used: What would their needs be as residents of Gungahlin? The values of those beings were determined by the bureaucracy, I guess. Those people might have been people who thought it was worth taking 10 minutes longer, if they chose to drive their cars to work, rather than see the nature of our bush hills destroyed by a freeway. As it came out, the hypothetical people wanted to get to work in their cars as quickly as possible, because that is what people want. Obviously, that is what we have to argue.
We have already heard that the public transport options are very serious in this debate. I am not saying at any point that I do not think Gungahlin needs to have reasonable access to the city, but there are a lot of other issues here. There is the issue of employment. We should have employment in Gungahlin. Do we need a major freeway or do we need just a road? We need only a road if we get the commuters out of their cars, because the