Page 2853 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 5 August 2008

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As I understand it, I have said in this house that we said we would look at the duplication of Caswell Drive when the numbers of vehicle traffic actually sustained that. We actually completed the road and then started the first part of the tender process, which is to work out whether we need it or not. And we did that; we did the vehicle count. We know that, for the stretch of road between the Barton Highway and Belconnen Way, there are 19,000 cars a day. And when we did the count, we know that 10,000 cars a day join the Gungahlin Drive at Belconnen Way, when it becomes Caswell Drive, putting 29,000 cars a day down that stretch of Caswell Drive from Belconnen Way to the Glenloch interchange.

At that point, we knew we had the numbers of vehicle traffic to sustain the duplication. The question facing the traffic engineers was whether to merely extend the slip lane a little bit or whether to extend the slip lane into a full-blown second lane all the way down the hill. Those technical considerations informed the specifications which had to be put to Procurement Solutions to get the contract underway. So the answer to Mr Stefaniak’s question is: the date that the Chief Minister indicated of 20 June was when we had the discussions with Procurement Solutions to get a formal contract out there in the ether. The answer, though, as to when the tender process started and when it was in train was the day that we announced that the Caswell Drive section—that is, Belconnen Way to Glenloch interchange—was open for traffic.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Stefaniak.

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Speaker. To the Chief Minister: given that you promised to deliver the Gungahlin Drive extension on time and on budget before the 2004 election, is not this yet another election promise you have no intention or ability to deliver?

MR STANHOPE: In fact, the GDE came in $4 million—

Mr Hargreaves: Three months early.

MR STANHOPE: The GDE came in three months early and $4 million under budget. The $4 million is being used to actually extend Caswell Drive. The position, as I have explained, is that there was a $4 million underspend on GDE and the $4 million is being utilised primarily to widen Caswell Drive. We have now undertaken to duplicate the GDE if we are re-elected to the next Assembly, and we will.

Mrs Dunne: It is a comedy act!

MR SPEAKER: Do people understand that, once they are warned, the next trip is out the door? Standing order 39 proscribes any interruption of members while they are speaking.

Planning—omission of retail restrictions

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, I refer to the embarrassing omission of retail restraints in the deed of agreement for section 63. Has the government or any of its agencies been given any indication as to whether or not

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