Page 3759 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, what is the government’s record in delivering its capital works program?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. This government’s record in delivering its capital works program is sound and consistent and we have a significant, proven track record of delivery in relation to our capital program. Our record for delivering high-quality infrastructure is unparalleled and contrasts to that of the previous government. The comparison does speak for itself.

Over the last four years of this government’s term, average expenditure on capital projects has been around $200 million a year. It is important to note that this expenditure record is growing and growing considerably. In 2007-08, forecast expenditure is estimated to be just in excess of $300 million. I believe that capital over this last financial year has come in at somewhere in the order of $340 million. For 2008-09, this financial year, our capital expenditure is forecast to grow to $470 million. This is a staggering increase and far eclipses the record of any former government.

This issue was raised yesterday by the Leader of the Opposition, and I am pleased to be able to respond today as the Leader of the Opposition sought to cast some aspersions on this government’s record in relation to capital and the capacity to deliver capital projects. It is sobering, interesting and somewhat amusing in the context of some of the remarks that have been made that, in its last term, in 1998-99, the then government, the Liberal government, the government of Mr Stefaniak and Mr Smyth, the two survivors of that particular government, delivered a capital program of $64 million. In the year just past, in the year just concluded, my government delivered a capital program of $340 million, with an anticipated capital program in this financial year, the year we are in, of $470 million.

MR SPEAKER: If members of the opposition want to have a conversation, please go outside into the lobbies.

MR STANHOPE: In 1998-99, it was $64 million. In 1999-2000, it was $76 million that was delivered. As I have said before in this place, in the entire last term of the last Liberal government, they delivered less capital, that is, less infrastructure, fewer roads, fewer public amenities, fewer footpaths, fewer playgrounds and fewer barbeque areas than we delivered in a single year. They delivered just over $200 million in the entire term. We delivered $340 million last year.

We will have none of this nonsense that we have been hearing about commitment to capital, commitment to infrastructure and capacity to deliver. The record is there. The numbers are stark: in 1998-99, $64,000,077 under the Liberals; in 1999-2000, $76 million under the Liberals; in 2000-01, the last year of the Liberals, $89 million. Let me go to the last three years of this government: in 2007-08, $314 million; in 2006-07, $218 million; in 2005-06, $163 million; and we anticipate in excess of $400 million in this financial year. Compare the records. They are the numbers. They are stark.

It is not just a question of the quantity; it is also about the quality of the infrastructure that was delivered. When we are doing the comparisons, where do we start? We

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