Page 2248 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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wherewithal to make sure that the facilities that are required, and the support that is required to keep the facilities in place as well as expand their space and look at future needs, are provided.

There was talk of a strategic study, the results of which are yet to be seen. So much of what we hear from this minister is always the same. There is a lot of talk about it, but there is very little early response. There is lots of money in a typically Labor way, saying, “We have put money into the solution.” But the reality is that the solution is not there because the minister does not know what to do with sport and recreation.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.44): I think it is worth, before I start into some of the more substantive issues in this portfolio, putting on record, firstly, obviously, the importance of this portfolio to all Canberrans. I think that has been touched on by some other speakers. There are few areas that I would get more correspondence about than the areas covered by the Department of Territory and Municipal Services. The roads, rates and rubbish, the long grass at the end of the street, the broken footpath, the damaged bus shelter and all of the other things that go in this portfolio are what I get a lot of correspondence about.

It is fair to say that the minister’s office, on these types of issues, is quite responsive in terms of getting back to us when we take up issues on behalf of our constituents. I am sure it is not the minister doing all the work himself, so on that I would pay credit to those public servants, in particular, who are preparing those responses, and preparing them quickly. I know that there are many hardworking men and women in Territory and Municipal Services who do endeavour to provide very good services to the people of the territory.

It is worth looking at some of the specific issues. Gungahlin Drive is worth reflecting on, because we heard the Chief Minister in question time saying, “Well, you know, we will need to look at how we stage; whether we duplicate Gungahlin Drive or focus on Majura Road or other places, and which we would do first.” But it goes back to the central principle, and it goes back to the real lack of vision that we have seen from this government when it comes to infrastructure delivery. Everyone knew that we were going to need a two-lane Gungahlin Drive; everyone knew that. There was no secret about the fact that we were going to be facing exactly the kind of traffic jams that we are seeing at the moment.

It comes as a surprise to absolutely no-one that the moment this road was finished we had the people of Gungahlin asking why it was only one lane and when it is going to be duplicated. When the Chief Minister says, “Well, we can only stage it and we need to do this and that,” that is because they did not get it right in the first place. That is because they did not do what they should have done in the first place, which was duplicate it at once. We asked questions about this years ago. In fact, there were questions from the Liberal Party back in estimates of, I think, 2002 and 2003, asking about this road and one lane, and we got the answer: “This will be a great road for 22 hours a day.”

As Mrs Dunne mentioned today, that is actually not quite right; it is probably one or two fewer hours a day that it is a good road. Nonetheless, we knew that at peak hour

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