Page 1742 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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MR SPEAKER: Order! Withdraw the assertion that the Assembly has been misled.

Mr Smyth: I withdraw the words, Mr Speaker.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, it is not just the exercises and the investigations that are being undertaken; there are also the projects to make it happen. For example, the government has signed a major commitment with the Australian National University for the implementation of the City West master plan.

Mr Seselja: Did you support that, Simon?

MR CORBELL: A project that I am very proud to support and one that I believe, through the very detailed work the government has undertaken, will mean that, unlike other partnerships that have been put in place by previous territory administrations, will actually work. It will actually work, and it will work because we have got in place the framework, the decision-making context and the obligations of the various parties spelt out very clearly so that it will work and cannot be reneged upon by either party.

There is also the issue of signage for Canberra central. Members will have seen in the budget yesterday the implementation of the project for the complete revamp of the signage in Canberra central—clear and consistent signage in terms of the style and designation.

We are improving the quality of the public realm, and you can see that with the work that is currently happening along Alinga Street, which my colleague Mr Hargreaves is leading, in terms of revitalisation of that pedestrian area. There are dedicated maintenance programs, the preparation of a capital works program, tourist signage. Of course, there was $6 million in the budget yesterday for the Childers Street precinct master plan and, as I have already indicated, Alinga street urban improvements.

Linked to these activities the government has also assisted in the further development of section 84 in city east as one of the key retail destinations within Canberra. As I have already indicated, we have entered into an arrangement with the ANU to better integrate the university into the City West precinct; facilitated, through a direct grant process, the establishment of the NICTA proposal; and overseen a number of other key development projects, such as section 88 and section 6 in the city.

I would like to make this point: look at the city now and look at the city four or five years ago when we came to office; look at the amount of redevelopment activity now happening in the city; look at the new office buildings going up; look at the new residential developments going up; look at the new public realm being improved; count the number of cranes on the skyline. These things are happening, and they are happening under a Labor government. They are happening because the government has released the land; they are happening because the government has put in place the planning framework; and they are happening because the government has worked with the private sector to assist development such as NICTA and to assist work such as City West. These things are under way, and the government has been central in assisting and helping it to occur.

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