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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3543 ..

Gungahlin Drive extension

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (9.43): I would like to dwell for a moment on that road. As someone who uses the road every morning, or just about every morning, I think it is instructive to see the panic mode that the Stanhope government have gone into over the GDE, to the point where they are now in a situation where they are out there every single day reminding people that they got it wrong in the first place.

Firstly we had Mr Stanhope coming out and saying, “We are going to duplicate it and we had to get out in front of Mr Seselja”—in the unprecedented process of announcing a major policy at quarter to six on a Wednesday night. And then there has been a fair amount of argy-bargy about exactly what it is that they are going to do. We have now found that they are going to spend about $4 million because the GDE came in under budget. This is a road that is four years late. It was originally to cost less than $60 million—now $120 million. It is half the amount of road that we were originally extending. Then somebody can say with a straight face that this was a road that came in under budget.

They have $4 million to spend, so what they have done in the last little while is go out and do this. First of all they put out a whole lot of what are essentially stakes with flags on them which pointed to where they were going to have to extend the road to to duplicate a little bit of the road between Aranda and the Glenloch interchange. As you go down Caswell Drive towards the Glenloch interchange past Aranda, there is a double bridge halfway down the road. There is a little line of stakes with flags on them pointing to the perimeter of the new extended road, marching like little soldiers down the beautifully created swale with stormwater drains in it. I do not know what they are going to do with the stormwater drains if they build a road over there.

That is until we get to the double bridge. But the double bridge is not wide enough to accommodate the little line of soldier-like stakes that go down the path. Very soon, somewhere along the line, some of that $4 million is going have to be used in extending the bridge a bit. Currently it is not wide enough—if the stakes are in the right place; the stakes may be in the wrong place.

And what are we doing now? As of yesterday morning, we have a range of plastic and concrete barriers that push all the traffic over into the bicycle path. There is almost no road left on the southbound lane of Caswell Drive south of Aranda on the way to the Glenloch interchange, which means that for the last two mornings the traffic snarl has been significantly worse than it has ever been in that area south of Aranda.

It is a masterly piece of campaigning on behalf of the Liberal Party and anyone who wants to campaign against the Labor Party—for Mr Hargreaves and his friends to go out and, every morning between now and the election, remind the government that they got Gungahlin Drive so wrong that, within six months of the last paint on the line markings being dry, the workers of Mr Stanhope and Mr Hargreaves are out there trying to fix the mess that they made. The people of the ACT who use that road every day will every day be reminded of the failures of the Stanhope government.

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