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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3487 ..

Let us have a look at the scaled-down project—another case of lousy development and infrastructure delivery. The government would have been better served to have relocated the data centre and move it to another appropriate place—and many sites exist. Whilst we respect the process, we will now observe the process and we are ready to help the government to expedite the process, it would have been far better if, in terms of win-win-win, they had relocated the issue. But there we are; now we are going to see where this goes to.

On the 6 July briefing to the community by the health impact steering group, we heard the steering group admitting that the flawed ActewAGL plume study was going to be the only model that they were going to be focusing on. What sort of planning is this? What sort of standards does this government require? We then see the sacking of the HIA steering group because they perhaps questioned the fact that the plume study was far from adequate. When we question Mr Barr in this place—the planning minister, the minister responsible for delivering infrastructure—we see him avoiding the issue as to what model will replace the plume study.

We also hear the proponents talking about walking away. It will be very interesting. This government—having led the proponents up the garden path, having stuck a stick in a hornets nest and got the entire community offside—may well now lose a valuable project. We may not only lose the power station but also see the loss of the data centre project because of their incompetence—their incompetence, in leading the proponents up the garden path.

In this place we have often talked about the lack of vision in the network 08 transport service. We talk about the lack of vision in relation to public transport in general. This is also the government that have been talking down light rail for their entire time in government. I remember that way back in 2002 Minister Corbell sought to refuse the Assembly’s involvement, and in turn the community’s involvement, in the terms of reference for a light rail feasibility study. Thank goodness for minority government. Those were the days, weren’t they, Mr Speaker?

The government are just waiting for their comrades on the hill to bankroll major infrastructure projects in this town. They have not got the guts, the foresight or the wherewithal to commit dollars where dollars ought to be committed—to underwrite projects for the delivery of infrastructure which this city badly needs.

This is a government which has wasted many opportunities. This is a government which lacks vision. This is a government which lacks creativity. This is a government which has wasted so much funding that it cannot be relied upon to spend money properly. It cannot be relied upon to deliver infrastructure. This is a government which has failed the ACT.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.53): The planning and delivery of infrastructure is a very important function of government. The need to maintain and deliver infrastructure is about service delivery to the community. It is about economic activity; it is about maximising our use of existing infrastructure. I thank the member for bringing forward this matter, which is of significant importance to the community and to this government.

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