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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2904 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I hope the government paid attention to the recent meeting of Aranda residents. I, Mrs Dunne, Mr Corbell, Mr Stanhope, Ms Dundas and Ms Tucker attended that meeting. There were at least 350 people there; I think one of the papers reported it as 400. I counted 20 rows of chairs and 16 chairs in each row, plus a lot of people around the wall. It was one of the biggest community meetings I have seen since the Assembly has been going.

Those people wanted the road to be 200 metres to the east of Caswell Drive. There were probably 20 people there who had different views, most of whom probably did not want any road at all and supported the position Ms Tucker has been consistently putting in this Assembly of not building any Gungahlin Drive extension. But, apart from one or two who had other ideas, the vast majority wanted to see that road 200 metres to the east. As I said at that meeting, I have always been supportive of that. It makes a lot of sense to put a road behind a ridge line on the reverse slope to Aranda.

We got some comment about the environmental impact there; obviously, there would be some. I think the government makes far too much of the potential environmental impact there rather than the amenity for the community. I do not think there is a huge amount of impact there or that it is going to adversely affect the excellent Black Mountain Reserve. I would urge the government to take note of what the community says and change their minds in terms of their preferred route.

I was heartened to hear some conciliatory talk by both the Chief Minister and the minister at that meeting, indicating that it is still in the consultation process and that no final decision has been made. I hope to see the residents' wishes adhered to. I think the route suggested by them is the best option, just as I think the eastern route is the best option. I hope that will ultimately come to pass.

It would be very nice if we did not have a road at all, and I have some sympathy for Ms Tucker's position. But at the end of the day that is unrealistic. The people of Gungahlin need a road; I do not think anything is going to change in our urban make-up that would make a road not necessary. I sincerely hope the government changes its mind, does the eastern route and adheres to what the Aranda residents want after we pass Belconnen Way.

I read the government's response this morning, and noted that the sport and rec area is among Urban Services' fields of control. There is some merit there. I can recall that in the first Assembly ovals were the responsibility of Urban Services. That changed during the Follett government-I am not sure whether under your good self, Mr Speaker, or under Mr Lamont when he was minister-when ovals became part of the larger Bureau of Sport, Recreation and Racing.

I had a bit of a chuckle about the government response that is it was strange having sport and rec under the department of education. That is an unfair comment. Having sport and recreation under education was seen as a reasonably popular move by a lot of people in the sporting area because of the important link between school sport and junior sport and the synergies that can occur. So that was not an illogical move.

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