Page 60 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

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In January 2006 Mr Quinlan doubted that the busway would go ahead. In May 2006 Mr Hargreaves replied, “Not in my lifetime,” when asked if the busway would go ahead. You stated also in May 2006 that the $3.5 million spent by the ACT government on the busway project was for planning studies. Why have you spent $3.5 million on planning studies for a project that will not proceed in Mr Hargreaves’s lifetime?

MR STANHOPE: I thank the shadow Attorney-General for his question. I might take this opportunity to commiserate, Mr Stefaniak. I enjoyed your time as Leader of the Opposition, and I do regret that you have been treated in the way that you have. But I must say, Mr Stefaniak, that I detected on the day you became leader that the consensus within your party was that you would be Chief Minister at no time in their lifetimes. Whilst it took 18 months or so for the prediction that it would not be within their lifetimes that you would be Chief Minister, I do congratulate you at least on your period in office and extend to you my regrets at your demise.

MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter, Chief Minister.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, give the Chief Minister an opportunity to make a statement if he likes.

MR STANHOPE: Bill and I have known each other for nearly 40 years; you’ve got to give us a minute!

MR SPEAKER: There are plenty of opportunities to make statements in relation to that matter. It is question time; come to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: 1970; before your new leader was born, Bill!

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, either address the subject matter of the question or give it away.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, the work that this government has done across the board, whether it be in relation to social planning, social capital and delivering on our social program, whether it be in relation to economic development that has led to the unprecedented strength of the economy in the ACT and the strength of our balance sheet—the strongest balance sheet in the history of self-government—or whether it be in relation to planning and spatial planning, is vital to the future of this city.

This is a government that will plan for the future. This is a government that does have a vision. This is a government that understands the infrastructure as well as the social and other service needs of this community. Just as the Minister for Health yesterday announced a visionary 10-year program of investment and infrastructure and facilities to ensure the future of health and health care within the territory, this government have sought to ensure that we have put in place the necessary planning regime, that we have made the necessary reservations and that we have undertaken the necessary planning to ensure that we can, now and in the future, meet this community’s needs in relation to transport and sustainable transport.

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