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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1977 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

(e) commencement of works; and

(f) completion of works.

Mr Speaker, this motion is about getting to the facts, and putting the facts on the table. This motion is not about whether west is best or east is best. What we really want to know is what the ACT Labor government is proposing to do for the people of Gungahlin. Before I ask that question, I want to put on the record what the former Liberal government proposed to do for the people of Gungahlin.

In 1997, the Planning and Environment Committee agreed that the eastern route for Gungahlin Drive was the way to go. In 1998, the ACT Liberal Party went to the election, which it won resoundingly, with a policy to go east. Between the time of the election and 2001, all the planning procedures were put in place. The draft variation for the Gungahlin Drive extension was made in August 2001.

Going back to May 2001, the money was put in the budget so that, beginning in July 2002, the road could be built by the route designated by the government. By the time of the election in 2001, all the territory approvals had been done and most of the federal approvals have been done. What needed to be done between October 2001 and when the money came on line in 25 days time was to let the tender. The work would have started in July this year. This was the Liberal Party's timetable for the Gungahlin Drive extension.

There has been much discussion about the Gungahlin Drive extension in this place and elsewhere. It has centred around the route, but little has been said-except by those on this side-about the timing. When we talk about the timing, the Labor Party gets embarrassed. They sit down, write, filibuster and talk about their mandate, but they will never talk about their timetable.

Before the election, the Labor Party made a two-pronged promise. It promised to build the Gungahlin Drive extension by the western route. It promised to build the Gungahlin Drive extension in line with the Liberal Party's timeframe as set out in the capital works program. It was to begin in 2002-03 and be complete by the end of 2004. By this timetable, we should be just about to break ground. In fact, we could do it in 25 days time when the money comes on line.

Let us look at what you have to do if you build it by the western route. First of all, you have to ignore all the previous work that has been done, and determine to build a major road through a suburb. You have to disregard the needs of a national institution and redo the environment works. By the assessment of the environmental assessor himself, that is a year's work. You have to redo the engineering specifications and the draft variation to the Territory Plan-another year's work. That year's work cannot begin until the environmental work is completed. Then you have to get the Commonwealth to agree. Then you have to call for tenders. By my calculations, the Labor government cannot start building the road on its preferred route before December 2004.

In question time yesterday in this place, the minister said that the government's timetable was to build the road by the end of 2004-to complete it by the end of 2004. My calculations and the minister's calculations seem to be desperately out of kilter. All I am

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