Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 871 ..
Planning for the eastern alignment now being done by the government-
Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Corbell has been going for almost five minutes now. The question was about a timetable, not a political reminiscence about the GDE. Does he have a timetable, and will he inform the Assembly in answer to the question?
MR SPEAKER: Far be it from me to enter the debate, but if you ask questions about the GDE you are going to get a fairly comprehensive answer, I would have thought.
Mr Smyth: It would appear that we are getting a comprehensive answer on everything but the timetable. He has not even mentioned the word "timetable". Mr Speaker, I would ask you to direct him to answer the question.
MR SPEAKER: I am sure Mr Corbell is coming to that point.
MR CORBELL: The matters the government has to work through in determining the construction timetable include consideration of the alignment of the eastern route. The National Capital Authority proposed an alignment that was closer to O'Connor and Bruce Ridge than that proposed by the previous Liberal government. Is the Liberal opposition now saying that we should adopt that position, a position that they were not prepared to adopt in government? It shows you how bankrupt the National Capital Authority's decision is that they move the road closer to O'Connor and Bruce Ridge than the previous Liberal government's proposed alignment.
We will be seeking to alleviate, as much as is practicable, any potential impact on Bruce and O'Connor Ridge. We will seek to build the road on the eastern alignment as far away from Bruce and O'Connor Ridge as we can. These investigations are now under way. They are due for completion at the end of this month.
An evaluation of alternative alignments for the GDE in the area of Aranda also forms part of these investigations. It is necessary for the National Capital Authority to vary the National Capital Plan to provide for an alignment to the east of Caswell Drive. It is interesting that Mrs Dunne has gone very quiet on the issue of Caswell Drive. It is interesting that the National Capital Authority has accepted the government's position that the road needs to be built to the east of Caswell Drive. It is the only logical element of their decision.
The NCA's decision and the need to undertake additional investigations into the eastern alignment will have no impact on the timing of the preliminary assessment process, which has now been completed by Planning and Land Management. The government is confident that the Gungahlin Drive extension will still be completed within the timeframe we have previously outlined. However, in the interests of clarity, I will take the question on notice, double-check the information and provide an answer to Mrs Dunne.
MRS DUNNE: In the interests of providing information to the people of Gungahlin about this much needed road, can you table that schedule by close of business today? Check your figures and get back to us.