Page 3072 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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in train to rectify that mistake sooner than was initially flagged. I know that the people of Gungahlin share my sentiments and look forward to completion of the final version of the GDE.

I know there has been a view expressed by some, and I have had emails and so forth asking how we can guarantee that this will happen. That is always a fear when election announcements are made. Our friend from the dragway group keeps sending us emails, saying, “We were promised a dragway too.” I sincerely hope that the people of Gungahlin will see this capital works project implemented without delay and that the election promise will be honoured. I have not heard what the Greens have to say about this, but certainly the other three political parties now represented in the chamber seem to be committed to it. We can only hope that that will be honoured and that the people of Gungahlin will receive the same standard of access to their suburb that other people in Canberra have become accustomed to. Not unreasonably, I think they are impatient for this to happen. I certainly endorse the decision to proceed to create this duplication of the highway.

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (4.30): This MPI is terribly important. The Gungahlin Drive extension project has been a debacle from front to end. It is a very important discussion to be having. I must say I was somewhat amused by Mr Mulcahy’s comments today, when he said he does not really care too much about who is responsible. He certainly did care six months ago, perhaps in those better days when he understood clearly where the blame lay for this particular debacle. I hope he might remind his constituents of those views that he had then.

I wish to refer to the minister’s attack on the Humphries government’s intentions regarding the GDE. We heard him today trying to flail Mr Smyth with a wet lettuce on the position taken by the previous government. Let me point out a couple of things. He talked about Mr Smyth needing to perhaps get ready to wear a loincloth as he was going to be exposed. In fact, the loincloth is now firmly wrapped around the minister’s face and halfway down his throat.

Let me remind you, Mr Speaker, that the budget papers for 2000-01, at page 126, very clearly indicate a $53 million project, which included, for the Gungahlin Drive extension, four lanes plus tunnels, at $32 million, the Caswell Drive duplication at $6 million, the Glenloch interchange at $15 million, with the Glenloch interchange, of course, taking it out to about 2004-05. That adds up to $53 million, minister.

Mr Hargreaves: Where is the rest?

MR PRATT: And that is $53 million for the complete length.

Mr Hargreaves: No, it is not.

MR PRATT: You can sit here today and spin, and paint a picture which is not quite the truth.

Mr Hargreaves: It is not.

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