Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2207 ..
infrastructure where it is needed most. The people of Tuggeranong are excited about the significant investment by the government for the duplication of Athllon Drive. (Second speaking period taken.) There is a lot of pent-up anxiety when people are trying to get through to their workplaces at Centrelink and those government offices around the back of Tuggeranong. We have seen the government provide a significant investment for the upgrade of airport roads—$10 million. Again, that is an initiative welcomed by the ACT community.
What did those opposite have to say in their dissenting report about those projects? They said the government has not set out a clear strategic road upgrade plan. That claim shows again how misguided those opposite are. What about the buses that use those roads? I am pleased to see the government has provided a significant investment in this area as well, and I read out the figures earlier on.
In closing, I applaud the Stanhope Labor government for taking on head-on the challenge of ensuring a sustainable future for the city when those opposite are happy to sit back and say or do nothing. I applaud the government for its continued commitment to addressing the climate change challenge. I applaud the Stanhope Labor government for doing its job and delivering for the people of Canberra.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.20): Given that I too am probably going to attract a litany of criticism, I want to remark upon the speed with which any constituent’s concerns that I pass on to the minister are dealt with. I would say that Mr Hargreaves is one of the most responsive ministers. There are other ministers where one is not even sure that one’s email has not fallen into a big, dark, black hole. But Mr Hargreaves, fortunately, is not one of those.
In the ACT more than $100 million of the $242 million in government expenditure purportedly aimed at climate change will, in reality, be spent on keeping large—and largely empty, except at peak travel times—buses on the road. Are we meant to believe that without climate change Canberra would not have a public transport system? You would think so from the spin the government put upon it in the budget.
It is ironic that the latest ACTION network plan fails to identify where park and ride and bike locker facilities are located, as these are initiatives which could genuinely be booked as climate change expenditure. A half-hearted attempt was even made to portray road building as a climate change measure on the basis that better roads reduce congestion and, hence, emissions. In reality, building roads encourages private car use and increases total emissions.
Unfortunately, there were a number of issues that were raised in the estimates hearing on TAMS which were taken on notice. Alas, and this is where TAMS has fallen down, there have been absolutely no—I repeat no—answers to anyone’s questions on notice to TAMS. This makes the estimates process with respect to TAMS quite questionable.
Tree planting programs, such as the million trees program, which were originally promoted as water catchment, tourism or beautification measures—let us go back to Thomas Weston, who planted many of the trees that are now ageing and need replacing; he did not know anything about climate change but thank goodness he did