Page 2730 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008
facility; and the Civic Youth Centre. We have established regional community facilities in neighbourhood halls, through this budget; the Forde Community Centre, the Belconnen Community Centre upgrade; and the ATSIC Cultural Centre upgrade.
In health, this is only the beginning. We have already announced our program of $300 million for building the future and supporting the growth of our hospital system. Specific projects funded in this year’s budget include the women and children’s hospital; a suite of mental health facilities, including a young persons unit, an adult inpatient unit, a secure adult unit, a mental health assessment unit; a surgical assessment and planning unit; a new neurosurgery operating theatre; an intensive care high-dependency unit at Calvary Hospital; and a new community health centre in Gungahlin. Provisions are also being made for planning, feasibility and forward design studies for the complete reconfiguration and redevelopment of health facilities in both hospitals and the community.
These are the significant investments that will benefit many of us at some stage in our lives. These are the investments to meet the health needs of our community over the next decade and beyond.
The building the future program allocates $250 million for integrated transport system initiatives, spanning roads, car parks, efficient disability standard compliant buses, public transport services and cycle paths. The government continues to invest in infrastructure and programs to support alternative transport modes and introduce measures to encourage better performing vehicles. It was also investing in the road network as part of an integrated transport system. The infrastructure investment in this budget will improve the efficiency of the whole transport system, address traffic congestion, reduce the levels of transport emissions and provide the community with better transport options. That is what is being committed in this budget. Contrast that with the poorly costed and unfunded Gungahlin Drive extension project that we inherited.
One hundred million dollars is allocated to the look and feel of the city. A significant expansion of the capital upgrades program is being undertaken, with investment targeted at community amenities such as public toilets, barbeque places and general recreation areas.
The building the future program provides an additional $100 million for climate change initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint or for adaptation to climate change. Along with the investments already made, the government would have committed $242 million to climate change initiatives—$242 million just for climate change. That is larger than the whole capital works expenditure over the whole term by the previous government.
I am pleased to advise the Assembly that the government has a proven track record in delivering infrastructure projects. The government is delivering record capital works programs, with the forecast expenditure in 2007-08 being $314 million. Not only is the size of the program significant but the quality of the program is being appreciated and recognised by organisations such as the Master Builders Association. Also of importance, infrastructure is being delivered in a planned and financially sustainable