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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1099 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the Government will oppose this proposal. We believe that all of these issues can and should be appropriately addressed through the one process. We think it is reasonable to do so. We have made no bones about the fact that this is our desired option. Mr Humphries announced that during the last Assembly. It is a position we took to the last election. I think it is about time others came clean about their intentions in endeavouring to thwart this process.

MR SPEAKER: I call Ms Tucker, to close the debate.

MS TUCKER (4.41): Listening to Mr Smyth makes me realise that it is a bit of a problem having the same Minister dealing with planning and the environment because we just heard him say he cares about the people of Bruce because they do not want a freeway going through their precinct, but who is advocating for the environment here? Mr Smyth is the environment Minister. It is the classic situation where the environment does not have a vote, does it? The environment cannot speak to Mr Smyth. He is the environment Minister, but it is apparent that this is not going to be getting a lot of consideration.

Mr Smyth just said that there is no subterfuge; that he has always said that it would be a number of years before the road was built, depending on demographics and so on. So why did he say previously in the debate that this motion was a slap in the face of Gungahlin residents? That is a total contradiction. Obviously, it is not a slap in the face of the Gungahlin residents. It sounds from what he just said now that he thinks it might be a slap in the face of the people who want to develop Bruce, but it is obviously not going to have any impact on Gungahlin residents if we have this inquiry or not.

As for the question of due process, Mr Smyth says, "We have done the work". We cannot even get from Mr Smyth or his Government what the comparative costs are of these two alignments. Forget whether we are going to have a broad discussion about whether there is a road, about whether we could reduce the need for a road, or maybe not need a parkway and just have a smaller road. Those broader questions still have never been addressed. Forget that. We are just asking, Mr Smyth, "If you have done the work, can the ACT community have some idea of what it is going to cost taxpayers to build this alignment versus this alignment?".

As we have heard, Mr Smyth has said there might be tunnels in the eastern alignment. The engineers that I speak to love tunnels because there is lots of work in tunnels and there is lots of money to be made. We would like to see a much more thorough approach taken from this businesslike Liberal Government before they tell us that the road has to go in one particular spot. We would like public policy to be formed by information. That is a quaint notion, I realise, at this point in the ACT, but we will continue to ask for it.

Now, Mr Humphries, I think, really said it. He got very excited and there was a lot of shouting going on before lunch. Looking at what we have written down here in our motion and what has been transferred into Mr Corbell's amendment, which is basically the same, he was saying, "What does this look like? We have in the same motion that we want to look at two roads, but you also want to look at things like the use of public transport". He kept saying, "What does this sound like? It's a contradiction". He did

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