Page 2233 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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and admits quite freely and with some pride—only the first tranche of a billion dollar investment over the next decade. There is $250 million to the territory’s transport system to increase its efficiency and to meet the needs of a growing economy—$250 million in infrastructure over and above our continuing capital works program.

There is $100 million for improvement to urban amenities; $100 million for adaptation to climate change initiatives; $50 million for cutting edge information and communications technology; a $200 million boost to the existing capital works program to support growth, particularly in the land supply program; and over $31 million in feasibility studies to plan for future ACT infrastructure needs.

The government’s investment record is already second to none. The billion-dollar building the future infrastructure investment program ensures we are ready for the future. We are planning for the future of our city and the needs of our people. We will ensure that Canberra remains a great place to live—indeed, the best place in the world in which to live.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms MacDonald.

MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank the Chief Minister for that answer. Chief Minister, can you advise how the government’s plans contrast with the approach taken by previous administrations?

MR STANHOPE: I can make that contrast because the contrast is chalk and cheese. Ours has been an approach of a government committed to the growth of the territory, committed to making the city world class, committed to improving the look and the feel of the city. We have done it in a planned and strategic manner and we have done it by ensuring that we have a budget that is sustainable, that we have a balance sheet that is strong, that we have the capacity to make the sorts of investments in infrastructure that have been sorely missing in the past.

It is interesting that expenditure on the capital works program has tripled since 2001-02 when we came to government. In our first year in government, the capital program was $111 million, which exceeded any capital budget ever produced by the previous government in its time in government, to a forecast $314 million in the last financial year. We started with $111 million in our first year in government; we have built it to $314 million in the last financial year.

The previous government, in comparison, invested almost nothing—certainly in comparison to those numbers, very little. And the numbers speak for themselves. It is sobering to go back to the capital budgets of the Liberal Party in government, as they huff and puff here and puff out their chests about the party that has a record of achievement in relation to infrastructure and the delivery of capital projects.

In 1998-99, at the height of the Liberal Party’s power in the place, what did they deliver? You can feel it coming, can’t you? What did the Liberal Party deliver in 1998-99 in capital on the ground? $64 million. It was actually their year of achievement. The Liberal Party in 1998-99 delivered a capital works budget of $64 million. What did we deliver in the last financial year? $314 million.

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