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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 499 ..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

I urge the government to reconsider its plan. I am staggered that the minister, a minister of a government that rates itself as being a champion of consultation, could possibly be surprised by Mr Peters' comments. In reference to Mr Peters, Mr Corbell was quoted in the paper as saying, "It is an issue I'm sure we can negotiate and reach a reasonable accommodation over." I agree. Mr Corbell can support the eastern alignment.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.17): Mr Deputy Speaker, I do not know whether the Liberal Party had noticed, but there was an election late last year. That election was fought on a whole range of issues, but one of the key issues of the election was the issue of the appropriate alignment-indeed, appropriateness overall-of the Gungahlin Drive extension.

The Labor Party went to the election with a clear and unequivocal commitment. That commitment was that the road would be built on the western alignment and that the flawed eastern alignment, the alignment put forward by the previous government, would be deleted from the Territory Plan. That was the election commitment. That was the clear and unequivocal statement from the Australian Labor Party. It is that commitment which this government is standing by. We are standing by it because we went to the community and said that we believed that the western alignment was the most appropriate alignment-appropriate because it had the least possible impact on the Bruce and O'Connor ridges nature reserve, a point conveniently overlooked in all of the speeches we have heard to date, and appropriate in providing clear and direct access for residents of Gungahlin to the Glenloch Interchange and the parkway system that serves so well the rest of the city.

Mr Deputy Speaker, this motion asks the government not to implement an election commitment. It is extraordinary that the opposition-an opposition that said when it went into opposition that it would hold the government accountable for its promises-is now saying to the government, "Break your promise." That is what the Liberal Party is saying to us today. They are saying, "We are the opposition and we are going to keep you accountable, but we want you to break your promise on building the western alignment." That is what the Liberal Party is saying to us today. I, and this government, will not accept that. We will stand by our election commitment.

Mr Pratt has moved that the Assembly should direct the government to enter into an urgent dialogue with the AIS to determine the serious impact that he claims that the planned Gungahlin Drive western route will have on the AIS and to reconsider its plan to adopt the western route. As I have indicated, Mr Deputy Speaker, the government will not be supporting the motion today. This alignment is needed; this road is needed. It is a part, not the whole lot, of addressing the transport issues that face Gungahlin residents, another issue on which we have not heard much from the Liberal Party today.

An engineering feasibility study has been commissioned by the Department of Urban Services and a range of options which take into account matters of concern to the Australian Institute of Sport are currently being evaluated. Noise measurements are being undertaken in areas adjacent to the western corridor, to establish the existing noise environment in Aranda, Bruce and Kaleen, as well as at the Canberra Institute of Technology campus in Bruce and the Australian Institute of Sport. This data will form the base against which forecast future noise levels will be assessed and mitigation

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