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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3380 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Some people have said the western route is more direct. Well, basically we are talking effectively of a freeway, as I understand it, with access roads going off it. I do not think people are going to suffer too much inconvenience with that. I am a little unclear, in terms of the western route, as to whether we are having flyovers at Battye Street, which we may well need, and perhaps even in part of the car park there, or whether there are going to be traffic lights there, which I heard someone say, and which I think would be crazy if you went the western route because that would cause all sorts of traffic bank-ups. I assume there would have to be a flyover on the western route in Battye Street. But you do not need that, except for Ginninderra Drive, if the eastern route were to be adopted, and that then hooks around behind the CIT.

Mr Speaker, quite clearly there is a lot in favour of that eastern route. You do not have the same problems with the AIS, the sporting precincts, the car parks, the access and the CIT Bruce Campus as you would if you went the western route.

I think there is some strength in Mr Moore's comments about a barrier, effectively, to further expansion to the east by the AIS. If you had that same barrier in the west that would preclude any expansion that way into an obvious area for expansion. I think that could be a very real happening, and it is something that perhaps a lot of people who favour the western route have not thought of.

I want to make one further comment, Mr Speaker, in relation to this debate. Aranda residents and a number of people have contacted my office, the government and a number of members about problems with the initial proposal in terms of Caswell Drive. On the diagrams people have the road comes out with a flyover or whatever onto Caswell Drive. The suggestion has been made that the route should go down a ridgeline, along a ridgeline, and that there be a flyover some distance to the east of Caswell Drive and skirt about 200 metres to the east of the alignment of Caswell Drive so that Aranda does not have the problem caused by extensive traffic down Caswell Drive.

I have had a look at that route too, Mr Speaker, and there is a lot of strength in that. I am delighted that the Minister for Urban Services indicated that his department is considering that as an option in terms of where the Gungahlin Drive extension goes after it crosses Belconnen Way. From what I can see, I would be supportive of moving the Gungahlin Drive extension about 200 metres to the east on the reverse slope of the Caswell Drive hill so that it would be out of sight and further away from Aranda. I think there is sense in that and I am delighted that the Minister for Urban Services is looking at that. I fully support him in doing so and, on the information I have, I would commend that option. (Extension of time granted.) I thank members.

All in all, Mr Speaker, having looked very closely at both routes and the possible and often more obvious ramifications of what would occur with both, I think the eastern route is by far the preferred option. I certainly am very happy in supporting my colleagues in that.

I think the Chief Minister was quite right and proper in ruling out what was causing a lot of people a very real concern up until last year, and that was the spur line that would go through O'Connor Ridge and join up with Barry Drive. That would have had very big ramifications for O'Connor Ridge and for the environment. I think the Chief Minister and the government were right to rule that out in October. I think this eastern option now

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