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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3398 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

need for a road when the other 80 per cent of journeys are being undertaken without the use of public transport.

Ms Tucker also said that she supported the need for greater density of housing-urban infill, in other words-in parts of the city so as to reduce the need for greenfields expansion and therefore the need for people to travel in large numbers from outlying parts of the city. That is fine, except that in the six years or more the ACT Greens have been in this place they have not once supported a proposal for urban infill to which any measure of controversy has attached. If anybody at all, anywhere in the territory, was opposing a particular measure for urban infill, the Greens were right there holding their hand. If they are in favour of that way of alleviating the need for more roads, they have not demonstrated it in any way in the course of the last six years that they have been represented in this place.

To conclude, this is a matter for balance; it is a matter of judgment. We have to make judgments all the time in this place about the things we do, and regrettably the decisions we make are very often not black and white. They involve heavy shades of grey. We have to decide whether one factor is more important or less important than another.

It was a sense of balance that led me in November of last year to exclude the O'Connor spur of the Gungahlin Drive extension, going from what would now be the eastern route down to Barry Drive. That view was taken on the basis that there was a strong argument about the environmental impact on a sensitive part of the ACT in slicing through the middle of that ridge. I do not believe the same level of sensitivity applies to the rest of the eastern route. If there is an argument about that, it is at least counterbalanced by other arguments to do with the environment, to do with the amenity of people in Kaleen and to do with the integrity of the Bruce precinct.

On balance, the decision we make today is a sensible decision, one which will serve the ACT community well. I hope that the people of Gungahlin can expect to see some movement towards making a decision on this as a result of the coming election so that some finality about this route and this road can be determined.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.34): I rise to confirm my position. In my view, the eastern route is the appropriate option for the Gungahlin Drive extension, and I will be opposing this disallowance motion. As I have stated in this place before, this issue has dragged on for far too long. Road transport links to Gungahlin have been debated in various forms for three decades, and if this motion is successful today we will be no further progressed than we were at the start of this Assembly term.

The bottom line is that 20,000 people or thereabouts live in Gungahlin and the number is growing by the day. The time for debate has long expired. The people of Gungahlin need a road, and this Assembly would be abrogating its responsibility if it failed to act and instead flick passed a decision to the next Assembly.

Every member of this place is aware that the people of Gungahlin have to endure daily traffic problems that no other region of Canberra has to deal with. They need this road. It is already late and they need it as soon as possible.

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