Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 501 ..
MR CORBELL: Maybe it is novel to the Liberal Party. Maybe it is novel to talk about 1,000 hospital beds and that sort of thing. But, Mr Deputy Speaker, we believe that it is important and it is a commitment that we are going to keep. I am confident that the issues of the AIS can be effectively addressed in terms of the construction timetable to minimise impact on the AIS, the actual alignment within the western corridor and the issues surrounding the development of the AIS. They can be effectively and adequately accommodated. Indeed, this point was backed up by the Canberra Times in its editorial of today, which says:
A better course for the AIS now would be to accept that, having remained silent during the main debate, it cannot undo electoral promises so it is now locked into the western route. Rather than argue about the route, it should negotiate the best deal it can on abating noise and other consequences of the road.
I think that that point from the Canberra Times editorial bears reflecting on, because the government is serious about making sure that issues surrounding the development of the western alignment are effectively addressed.
Mr Deputy Speaker, the government is committed to the western alignment. We are committed to it because it is the most direct route. We are committed to it because it is a route which we believe has the least possible impact on the Bruce and O'Connor ridges. That is backed up by evidence in the standing committee inquiry that Mr Pratt referred to. The government will be standing by its election commitment.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell): The minister's time has expired
MS TUCKER (4.27): I move:
Omit the words "to adopt the western route" and substitute the following words:
"to construct the Gungahlin Drive Extension on either the eastern and western alignments due to the significant environment impacts of both routes on the AIS and Bruce and O'Connor Ridges.".
I will speak to the amendment as well as the motion. The raising of the issue of the impact of the western alignment of the Gungahlin Drive extension on the AIS highlights that the whole idea of this road is flawed, regardless of the alignment. I note Mr Corbell's claim that he, together with his government, is progressing an important election promise. I respect the claim that people, parties or Independents that run in an election campaign on a particular platform should stick to that position once elected. But there are a few problems for me in that, because Mr Corbell also ran on a platform of having a commitment to ecological sustainability; in fact, to set up an office of sustainability.
It is never quite as simple to do so as people might like to portray, because the election promises of the Labor Party were quite inconsistent. On one hand, they were saying that they were committed to sustainability and, on the other, they are prepared to go ahead with the building of a freeway which is clearly not in the interests of sustainable transport options or urban living options. Any analysis of the current understanding of sustainable urban development and urban planning would mean you would have to come