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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2541 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

This morning on ABC radio you refused to commit to moving the road into the Black Mountain nature reserve. Will you now categorically state which is the preferred route of this next stage of Gungahlin Drive?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the government has outlined its preferred alignment for consultation, and that is the alignment the government released about two months ago. The preferred alignment is based on the government's assessment of the engineering, environmental, social and cultural heritage issues that need to be taken account of. The stage we are in now is a consultation process engaging with residents who are affected along the route and with other stakeholders. The government will consider all of those comments very seriously and will look at issues raised by residents.

In that context, the issue raised by the Aranda Residents Group-the potential relocation of the road to the east-will be considered by the government, as I indicated on the radio this morning. However, in the context of this discussion there are a range of factors the government must take account of, including the impact on an area of Canberra Nature Park versus the impact on residents' amenity in their homes. These are both serious issues, and we do not seek in any way to trivialise one over the other. We seek to respond to them in a responsible way, and the government will do that as part of its consultation process. We are serious about the consultation process, and we are serious about listening to the issues that have been raised.

MR STEFANIAK: I have a supplementary question. Minister, will you give an undertaking that, when you finally concede that the GDE cannot be built on the western route, the Aranda section will also move to the east?

MR SPEAKER: That is a bit of a hypothetical.

MR CORBELL: That is a hypothetical question, Mr Speaker.

Remand facilities

MS GALLAGHER: My question is to the minister for corrective services, Mr Quinlan. Minister, this week's Chronicle features an article on the conversion of the PDC to a temporary remand centre. Can the minister please outline, for the benefit of those in the Assembly who may not be aware, why the government took the decision to expand remand facilities in the ACT ahead of building a permanent facility?

MR QUINLAN: Yes, I did see this week's Chronicle and the little photo of the leader of the opposition behind the construction fence of the periodic detention centre, railing against the fact that we might have prisoners in that section of town.

One of the reasons we need to expand the PDC is that the Belconnen Remand Centre is overcrowded. This is where we start to enter the area of hypocrisy. A few days ago, we had Mrs Dunne saying, "We've got far less crime in the place because we've got the Bail Act, which we brought in, and Operation Anchorage, which we brought in." That, in fact, increased traffic to the Belconnen Remand Centre. But what did you do about it? Nothing. You created a situation, and you did not then complete the job. You were gunna do something about it; you were gunna fix that.

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