Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 7 August 2008) . . Page.. 3075 ..
It is a great pity that persons of Liberal persuasion have been so disruptive throughout this project. As we have heard earlier today from the minister and during question time, the decision by the Liberal government in 2001-02 was to progress a four-lane road with tunnels—I think that is what they were supposed to be—yet it provided only $32 million in funding for that. Were there to be tunnels or were they to be rabbit warrens? Perhaps they were rabbit warrens, or perhaps they were going to remove the hill, put the road in, and then place the hill back over the road, thus creating some sort of tunnels. I am sure this was a brilliant idea, but I think it was going to cost a lot of money. Certainly, it was going to be very disruptive to the environment. I do not know what the Save the Ridge people would have thought about that. Anyway, I think that was going to cost a little bit more than $32 million.
Then, of course, we had the decision by the same government to build the GDE only to Belconnen Way, so we got a road halfway to nowhere. Okay, it went to Belconnen, but that was not necessarily very helpful. A lot of people actually go from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong, believe it not. So we had a road that was going to be built with rabbit warrens and it was only going to go halfway. The decision by the federal Liberal government, through the guise of the National Capital Authority, to force the current government to accept the route through Bruce and O’Connor ridges at a cost to the ACT community of $20 million and two years of lost time through court challenges, led to the disruption and delays that the people of Gungahlin have experienced. All the disruptions to constructing a road for the people of Gungahlin were very disappointing, and we share that disappointment.
It is fortunate that the current ACT government is more understanding of the needs of the community and is prepared to respond to these needs now and into the future. Every member of this Assembly understands the importance of building and sustaining a future for our children and their children. Investment in infrastructure is a key investment, which is recognised by the Rudd government at the federal level and the Stanhope government at the ACT level. It is evidenced, of course, in the 2008-09 budget.
Together we will guide and build the future of this great community, but we should never forget the disruptive actions of the Liberal Party in this matter—the same party that is still on the back foot and unsuccessfully trying to catch up with the important issues of the day that the Labor government ACT has been dealing with and responding to for over eight years. Building a GDE duplication now is a good decision for the ACT community, a good decision for the future of Canberra and a good decision for the people. It is a good decision by a government elected by the people to make decisions. The government is expected to deliver on those decisions, and it will.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.44): Yes, let us assure our children a better future. Let us keep driving. Let us get as many cars on the road as we can. Let us get our cars going faster. Let us get our cars going further. That will give our kids a better future, will it not? Anyway, the great news, Mr Speaker, is that 2012 can be a GDE election too; 2004 was a GDE election, 2008 is shaping up to be a GDE election, or are government’s actions timed to make sure it is not a GDE election? That might have been the hope. What we have here is playing the blame game prior to the election