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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3377 ..

MR KAINE (4.03): I will be very brief. Any proposal to build a road of the magnitude of the Gungahlin extension is going to have benefits for some and adverse effects for others. It is going to have social impacts, it is going to have an environmental impact, and it is going to have an economic impact. Our task is to determine how we solve this dilemma, with the greatest benefit and with the least adverse impact.

I have not been out and walked the route. I do not think I need to. I am well aware, over decades, of what that piece of ground is and what it represents to some people, and I do not need to go and walk it and to look at it. I can look at the map and I can see what impact the extension is going to make. Also, I am not much impressed by arguments about putting a hard edge on a nature reserve. The whole concept is ludicrous. Are we going to put hard edges on all our nature reserves and all our parklands in the future because it is some academic in thing?

Mr Moore says that the process that we have been following has taken a long time. Yes, it has. If we have not reached the right conclusion, however, I suggest that we should be extending the process a little longer. There is no justification for truncating a process if the outcome is not the right one.

Mr Speaker, I do not think the process has been the right one. I think the government, in recent months, has made up its mind, for reasons that it has not satisfactorily explained to me, that it is going to follow a particular route, and the views of people who do not accept that, in my opinion, have been written off as having very little value. I think the whole process has been flawed, and that includes the committee process. Substantial evidence given to that committee has simply been set aside in favour of the government's position. I think we have been proud of our committee system in this place for a decade. My opinion of the outcome of this particular committee process is that it has failed. The process has been politicised without doubt, in my view, and we have tried for over 10 years to make sure that that did not happen.

Mr Speaker, I come back to where I started. We have to find a solution satisfactory to the people of Gungahlin, with the greatest community benefit, taking into account social, economic and environmental issues, and having the least adverse impact. My view has been, is, and will remain, that the western route best meets that objective.

I have not been persuaded by the argument that says that we should adopt the eastern route. The argument simply does not stand up. It does not stand up in economic terms, it does not stand up in social terms, and it certainly does not stand up in environmental terms.

Mr Speaker, I think the government's position is wrong. I do not think the government has properly taken into account the views of those people most directly affected by this road. If it goes through on the western route it will be a travesty, and I support the disallowance motion that Mr Corbell is putting before us today.

Mr Moore: I think you mean the eastern route, actually.

MR KAINE: And so ought Mr Moore, who seems to be offering me some advice as to how I should be performing.

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