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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1833 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

However, a couple of days later, on ABC radio on 29 May, the Planning Minister was much more gung-ho, and he declared-and again this is a direct quote: "We made the commitment. We're going to stick to that commitment on time, on the western route, on the same budget." That, as far as I can tell, means starting the road this year and completing it in 2004.

Chief Minister, who is right? Is it the case that, given your enormous commitments and your enormous popularity, you are out of the loop on this? Or is Mr Corbell making commitments on behalf of the government which, on your own admission, you cannot keep?

MR STANHOPE: I am grateful for the question. One of the things that we are particularly pleased about is that the people of Gungahlin are now in the loop. It has been very interesting for all of us to see that the residents of Gungahlin are now fully aware of the role that the Liberal Party is playing in seeking to ensure that the people of Gungahlin will be deprived of access to the rest of Canberra, via the Gungahlin Drive extension.

Mr Humphries: You know that is not true.

MR STANHOPE: It is true. Get out to Gungahlin and have a word to the residents out there. Get out to Gungahlin and have a word to your constituents about what they think about the tawdry role of the Liberal Party-trying to score some cheap political points and doing everything in their power, in collaboration with the Commonwealth government and Commonwealth agencies-in trying to stop Gungahlin Drive proceeding along the western route.

It really is quite amazing to me, and to the people of Canberra, and in particular to the people of Gungahlin, that you have not copped it sweet yet. You lost the election. There was a referendum on the issue of where Gungahlin Drive should go, and whether it should go west or east. The referendum was the ACT election and you lost it. You lost it because you lost the trust of the people of Canberra, who realised that you did not have it in you, and you are not up to it.

You know that you are not up to it, the people of Canberra know it, and the people of Gungahlin in particular know it now. We promised a road along the western route if we were elected. We were elected. We went to the election on that. We were specific. Mr Corbell and I said it time and time again: a vote for Labor is a vote for Gungahlin Drive on the western route. We went to the election on it. We made a promise about it.

You went to the election on "a vote for the Liberals is a vote for the eastern route", and they did not vote for you. It was remarkable to see Harold Hird actually entering the joust-poor old Harold must be having some withdrawal symptoms-I think on the same day as I was on the radio. He was out there saying, "The Labor Party should just give up and build it on the east," where he, Harold, had always said it should go. However, Harold, campaigning on the eastern route, lost his seat, only by 54 votes admittedly, to you, Mrs Dunne, but 54 votes is 54 votes-the missing 54 votes.

We wonder where they went. I am still sorry that Mr Hird did not pursue that challenge. I would like to know where those 54 votes went, too. It is one of those little mysteries.

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