Page 3068 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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This government has had to deal with the real costs of the project and available cash at the time. We progressed the road in stages and invested $120 million to construct the first stage opened to the public earlier this year. This was the largest investment in a road project in the history of the ACT since self-government. The ACT government have now decided to invest even more in building the future economy of the ACT and we now have the funds to do this.

Finally, I would like to say that the GDE and other major projects such as the Majura Parkway and Parkes Way will provide the necessary transport infrastructure to support the ACT economy into the future. The ACT government have announced these projects as part of a recent budget process and now we are getting on with it and delivering the GDE duplication in terms of the next electoral cycle.

As I indicated earlier on, there are two facts: fact No 1 is that they did not deliver the road. Fact No 2 is that we did deliver the road. These people across here budgeted for half a road with tunnels and we had to come along and say, “No, there is a bit of a problem here. You have somehow to get from Gungahlin Drive to Caswell Drive. How are people going to do that?” Under the Liberal’s proposals they would have to come screaming down the hill to a set of traffic lights where they turned left or right. Then they would have to go down the road and turn left and back up to Caswell Drive. That was an appalling state of affairs. We also have to look at their record. The Chief Minister was talking about their record of providing moneys for infrastructure for capital works.

This particular capital works was the equivalent of two years worth of their capital works projects; two years. We have answered questions ad nauseam about this GDE, but the fact is that the road is functional now. People can get from Tuggeranong to Gungahlin or Gungahlin to Tuggeranong. They can go to the city.

The road has been completed. It has also been completed and built by local firms—Canberra Contractors, Woden Contractors and Guideline. All the money is in here. If we had had the money and the extra two years that those opposite have cost us—two years and $20 million—we may have had a substantial part of the remaining duplication already done. But no, all those people opposite had to do, that bunch of obstructionists over there, was keep their gobs shut and then it would have been built. No, they would walk around the place and stoke everybody up and continue the delay. It was them and their mates—their Liberal mates on the hill and the NCA. And what do we get? Delay after delay after delay.

The reality is that we provided the money, we have provided the road and we will provide the duplication. These guys opposite know that this is a significant piece of engineering work to be done. Nine bridges and underpasses have got to go across this particular duplication. These guys would just roll a bit of bitumen across the top of it and call it a road. No, that is not the way to proceed. That is why it will take between now and 2011 to complete the road. It is a reasonable period of time.

But what will happen along the way? People will be driving next to it while it is happening. They are actually using the road. They would not have been able to use the road if those opposite had had their way. What did Mr Smyth provide? Mr Smyth is

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