Page 3492 - Week 09 - Thursday, 21 August 2008

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They have been copying a lot of things from us in recent weeks and months, but this one is the infrastructure plan. We announced it back in April, I think. I think that was when we announced “infrastructure Canberra”. Infrastructure Canberra, it must be said, is not a complete copy. What they have come out with is a poor imitation of what we have announced. They have come out with an infrastructure plan; that was part of “infrastructure Canberra”.

I might take Mr Gentleman and Mr Stanhope through some of that. Or do we refer to the Chief Minister as “Jon” now? I am not quite sure; I will refer to him as Mr Stanhope. We do have an infrastructure Canberra plan and it is a good plan. It has been interesting to see the silence on the issue from the government. We have seen hysteria on other policy announcements. We saw some hysteria yesterday. It is good to have the Chief Minister back in the chamber.

We did see some hysteria in relation to some of our announcements, but there was no hysteria—in fact, there was very little comment—on infrastructure Canberra. I do not know whether that means that they like it. They certainly copied part of it. The other parts are about an infrastructure commissioner. This would be an Australian first. Along with the infrastructure plan, this would gear the ACT towards the future in a genuine way. It would encourage governments and it would keep governments accountable—to look beyond the electoral cycle. Haven’t we seen a bit of that from this government? Haven’t we seen the short-term thinking when it comes to infrastructure delivery?

Mr Stefaniak outlined it well in his speech. On the GDE, we have seen short-term thinking from this government. This idea that a one-lane road was ever going to be adequate for the growing population of Gungahlin and Belconnen was a joke. We always knew that this would need to be duplicated and we now see the roadworks again. For the people of Gungahlin and the people of Belconnen who use this road, their gift from Jon Stanhope and the Labor Party is more delays. Under this government, I think the plan is to do it within five years. So it is another five years of delays under Stanhope Labor should they be re-elected—five years of delays.

This is a result of short-term thinking on infrastructure. They did not plan for the future; they did not take into account growing needs. It must be said that the infrastructure commissioner, as good a plan as it is, would not stop stupid decisions by governments. It would not. You can go only so far with advice, can’t you? I am sure that there were public servants giving advice to the government that they needed a two-lane road, but this government was determined to go ahead with its one-lane each way Gungahlin Drive extension.

The infrastructure commissioner can encourage a good government, keep a good government accountable for its actions and encourage it to look long term. That is why there would be an infrastructure plan. We are very flattered—we are extremely flattered—that the government has decided to copy the infrastructure plan. I think it even copied the board that would go with it to back it up—the industry and community representative board. I heard similar things coming out from the Labor Party on that issue.

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