Page 3489 - Week 09 - Thursday, 21 August 2008

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northern developments to other suburbs of Canberra. A staged duplication of the GDE has already commenced. This demonstrates the government’s responsiveness to community feedback and its responsible fiscal management.

There is the construction of a $9.75 million specialised unit for elderly patients at Calvary Hospital, including a 20-bed psycho-geriatric unit; the redevelopment of the paediatric area of the emergency department of the Canberra Hospital to make it more child friendly; the Canberra Glassworks in Kingston, which is now up and running, providing a premier arts and tourist facility; the implementation of a school renewal program, with a funding injection of $90 million for school upgrades and $20 million for state-of-the-art information technology services and equipment; $45 million for an advanced primary to year 10 school at west Belconnen; and $54 million for the new preschool to year 10 school in Tuggeranong. There is the establishment of the Gungahlin and Tuggeranong child and family centres. A new correctional facility and youth justice centre have been constructed and will operate according to human rights principles.

A significant capital works program supports the government’s land supply program and affordable housing action plan. Works include roads, stormwater, ponds, water supply, ovals, parks and other civil works packages that deliver our new housing estates to the community. The government’s record on planning and delivery of capital works projects is outstanding. This government is not content to sit back, rest on its laurels and simply congratulate itself on a job well done in the delivery of capital works programs the size of which is unprecedented in the ACT’s history of self-government.

The government is working closely with the commonwealth government, through Infrastructure Australia, in an effort to secure commonwealth assistance in financing a number of territory infrastructure priorities. The ACT has recently made a submission to the Infrastructure Australia group seeking an allocation of funding from the $20 billion building Australia fund for a light rail system for Canberra, a very fast train linking Canberra and two or possibly three other eastern capitals; a major solar power station for the ACT; and construction of the Majura Parkway.

In the area of improving water security, the ACT government has listed two possible projects for “building Australia” funding: the massive enlargement of the Cotter Dam from four gigalitres to 78 gigalitres and the planned Murrumbidgee to Googong project under which water would be pumped from the Murrumbidgee River for storage in the Googong Dam. The government has asked for consideration to be given to funding for a backup power supply for the ACT, which would deliver greater security for energy supply, and the construction of a high-pressure trunk gas main. These projects not only have benefits for the ACT but also have economic benefits for the wider community and the economy in the region.

We are also planning for the longer term, with the recent announcement of the development of the infrastructure plan, which will look more closely at our infrastructure needs for the future. As part of its ongoing commitment to continually improving outcomes for the people of Canberra, this government has initiated a review of the internal procurement processes. This review is aimed at ensuring that we have the most efficient and effective framework possible for the delivery of capital works to the territory.

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