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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1053 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

I personally have no difficulty with the notion that the committee should review, and the Minister has said already that he is making available all the previous history so that the committee can look at it. Well, if the committee is going to look at it, I suggest it needs to do a good job and look at it comprehensively, and that is what this motion is seeking.

The second part of the argument rests on the proposition that somehow this inquiry is going to delay the provision of the Gungahlin Parkway extension, or Dedman Drive or whatever we choose to call it. That is obviously not the case. The Minister has not indicated that they are standing at bay out there with the bulldozers ready to start shifting dirt. They are not going to for years yet. I do not see how a look at the whole problem by the committee can delay in any way the provision of such a facility. So I am not persuaded by the Government's argument as to its reasons for opposing this.

I think it boils down to the simple fact that it does not want its decision-making questioned, and that is the end of the matter. I do not think that any opposition or any crossbencher ought to accept that position from any government at any time, regardless of the colour of the government. The Minister needs to look a little bit ahead. In a couple of years' time he may well be sitting on this side of the house and the Labor Party might be sitting over there, and he may well want to review and question what the government of the day is doing. I think he might well be closing off an option by taking the position that the government's decision is not to be questioned. It is not persuasive, Mr Speaker, and I support the proposal put forward.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (12.13): Mr Speaker, I oppose the amendment put forward by Mr Corbell and the substantive motion. To take up, first of all, the two points made by Mr Kaine, the Government is not afraid of scrutiny at all and is quite prepared to have an extensive amount of scrutiny over issues of this kind. But the fact is that on this particular issue there already has been the most extraordinary degree of scrutiny that you could possibly imagine. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to name, and I ask other members to consider whether they would be able to do so, any issue which has not been more thoroughly canvassed in a variety of reports, at different levels, than the desirability of settling on a route for the John Dedman Parkway, or the Gungahlin Drive extension as it is now being called.

There is no issue that has been more extensively canvassed. There are reports into this question going back 10 years. There was the GET study, which I think was chaired by Mr Langmore, whom Mr Corbell would know very well. There was an NCDC or NCPA inquiry as well. There was the inquiry in the last Assembly. There was the Maunsell study. Mr Speaker, what more do we need to do before we make a decision on this matter?

Mr Kaine poses the question: "How can a further inquiry delay the matter any more greatly, given that it is some years out before work is expected to begin on it?". The fact is that after years of debate on this issue, in this place and outside, we have yet to settle on the route for the road. People living in Gungahlin have made the point very forcefully

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