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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1043 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Mr Speaker, this motion is not so much about the road itself, but is more about finishing some unfinished business in this Assembly and about following a proper process for assessing this proposal. I first need to provide some history for the benefit of members who were not here in the last Assembly, and for other members who may have short memories.

In late 1996 the Government announced that it had commissioned Maunsell as consultants to undertake a preliminary assessment in determining a route for the John Dedman Parkway, which was to join Gungahlin to central Canberra. I note that the Government is now calling this road the Gungahlin Drive extension, but I will keep to its old name as this road has been known as the John Dedman Parkway for many years, and many people in the community are aware of the previous debate over the parkway. Changing the name will not change the fact that the work has not been done, that it is still going to have a major effect on the inner north of Canberra, and that the problems are still there. You cannot just change the name and hope that it will all go away.

In February 1997 the Greens put up the motion to delay work on the parkway until the Government had completed a number of other transport studies which would impact on the need for the road. This issue goes back to 1991, when the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the ACT undertook an inquiry into Gungahlin's transport links. It recommended that a range of non-road options be implemented to lessen the need for car-based travel by Gungahlin residents before consideration was given to building more arterial roads through North Canberra.

Our reason for putting up the original motion was our concern that the Government was rushing ahead with setting up a timetable for building the John Dedman Parkway without taking full regard of the recommendations of the JPC report. What I find most appalling about this whole process is that, while various transport studies have been going on over the last seven years and the hard decisions have been put off, Gungahlin has been getting bigger and bigger and more and more cars are travelling through North Canberra streets, thus making the John Dedman Parkway seem like the only solution available to meet the transport demands of Gungahlin residents.

In the end, our motion was amended by the ALP to require the issue to be referred to the then Planning and Environment Committee before any decision was taken on the route of the parkway. The Maunsell study proceeded and the preliminary assessment was released in about October 1997. The Planning and Environment Committee called for submissions and held one public hearing, but was unable to complete the inquiry before the Assembly rose for the 1998 election. However, and this is very important, it was quite clear that the Planning and Environment Committee intended that this inquiry continue in this Assembly. Mr Moore made a statement to the Assembly on 4 December 1997 about the inquiry. I quote:

We think it should be a high priority for those members -

of the new committee -

to take up the John Dedman Parkway inquiry where we left off.

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