Page 1518 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 7 May 2008

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MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Pratt.

MR CORBELL: Even they, in all of their churlishness, had to concede that it was a good idea. And it is a good idea, because it means better surveillance and improved community safety in the nightclub districts of Manuka and Kingston. This is a new area for surveillance by CCTV. Of course, we are also expanding it to Manuka Oval and to the showgrounds at EPIC, where major events take place, such as Summernats, the National Folk Festival and, of course, the Canberra Show. This will be a very valuable tool for policing here in Canberra and, again, it builds on the investigations undertaken through feasibility work in previous budgets.

MR SPEAKER: Before I go to Mr Stefaniak, I remind members of the opposition in particular of standing order 39, which prohibits disturbances which might interrupt a member while they are speaking.

Capital works—Belconnen

MR STEFANIAK: My question is the Chief Minister and Treasurer and it relates to the capital works initiative in relation to Cohen Street in Belconnen. Chief Minister, the project first appeared in the 2004-05 budget and was allocated $3 million over two years. It then managed to disappear from the budget for a couple of years with no work conducted. However, it has once again popped up in this year’s budget at $2 million in 2008-09 and an overall cost of $16.5 million over three years. Chief Minister, why did your government fail to proceed with this project when it first appeared in the 2004-05 budget?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you for the question, Mr Stefaniak. It is good to see, Mr Stefaniak, that you have your finger on the pulse of your electorate. I think actually that other members of the electorate, perhaps other than their elected representative, would have been fully aware of detailed negotiations which the government, through ACTPLA and the LDA, have been conducting with Westfield over the last two years. We consult, we discuss, we look for partnerships and we deliver excellent public works or capital programs such as a new bus lounge or suite provided by Westfield as part of an undertaking or arrangement entered into by the ACT government through its agencies with Westfield.

Mr Stefaniak, we have been negotiating with Westfield to deliver an outstanding result for the people of Belconnen through a reconfiguration of Cohen Street and reconstruction of busways and routes. The construction is part of an arrangement that we have come to through those negotiations of a new innovation within the territory, namely, a significant bus lounge modelled very much on bus lounges, I think, pioneered in New Zealand, which will be provided for the people of Belconnen by Westfield in association with the ACT government as we make the necessary changes to Cohen Street. It is as simple as that. It involved detailed extended commercial negotiations with Westfield.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Stefaniak?

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