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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3382 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

I have to say, Mr Speaker, that having followed the debate from the sidelines over the last couple of years and really only now looking at it quite seriously-and this matter has consumed my office for the last couple of weeks-I was amazed when I walked the route to see just how little actual physical damage has been done to the O'Connor Ridge. I think once the government took out the spur, the reality was that the O'Connor Ridge was saved.

I do accept that on this part of the route some woodland will be lost, especially-and I am looking at a picture of the site, which has been my constant companion for the last couple of weeks-behind the AIS track and just behind Bruce Stadium. As an aside, I walked that route with an officer from Environment ACT, who indicated to me that that area of woodland is not endangered and in fact is quite common. He also indicated to me his support for the eastern option because of the issue of a boundary, which Mr Moore spoke of. This meant nothing to me but it was something that he saw would be of benefit.

Mr Speaker, both routes have an impact on the quality of life of nearby residents. An environmental impact study would determine that the western route freeway would have to be diverted around the Kaleen grasslands and this would bring the freeway closer to the residents who eat, sleep and live in Kaleen. Mr Smyth can correct me but the proposed flyover is five metres above Ginninderra Drive and, from what I have seen, this part of Ginninderra Drive is quite higher than the Kaleen grasslands. I am no engineer, but the height of the freeway would have to be increased some significant way back from the flyover and this would negate the effectiveness of the noise abatement suggestions that have been made.

Obviously this would also have an impact on the Australian Institute of Sport and the athletes who reside there. The Bruce CIT campus would also be affected because the western option travels between the AIS athletics training track and the campus. So this route would have a real impact on the day-to-day lives of different people.

On the eastern side, the suburb of O'Connor is protected by the ridge. However, this route would obviously have an impact on the recreational users of O'Connor Ridge. Although noise reduction measures can be used, I think it would be foolish to suggest that noise would not have an impact.

The final consideration-this is by no means the most important; and probably, in the scheme of things, it is the least important-is the difference in cost. The western route is substantially more expensive. There would be an additional cost of $2.6 million to cover the extra expense of the flyover that crosses Ginninderra Drive and the additional flyover at Battye Street.

There could potentially be an additional cost of somewhere between $5 million and $25 million, depending on the option chosen, in replacing lost car parking. It was suggested to me that the AIS could consider tiered parking. I shudder to think of the cost that would impose on that option. While this could possibly be an immediate expense for the Australian Institute of Sport, ACT taxpayers could well be lumbered with the full cost of replacing car parking at some stage in the future.

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