Page 3764 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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Mr Stefaniak: You could ask the question in December.

MR HARGREAVES: Again, I am happy to wait for them. The fact is that the scope of works included a single lane for Caswell Drive. That was completed, along with the rest of it, and it was completed before time. In fact, people embraced it, and they embraced it quicker than I understood that they would. I indicated that to the Assembly yesterday, and before then.

Those opposite have come forward with predictions. They have said, “We predicted something would happen.” I have to be convinced that it is a fact, not just a prediction, before I am going to go and do something. I can predict that Mr Pratt is not going to win the election; I can predict that. When it became obvious to us that those predictions were going to come true, and that they were going to come true earlier than my latest advice, we moved. I do not know what Mr Pratt is bleating about. I would have hoped that he would have said: “Oh, you had some money there, you’ve actually gone on and done it. That’s a good idea. We congratulate you on doing that.” Do you know what has happened? In the four years that I have been minister with responsibility for that construction project, we have actually built a road; people can travel on it between the Barton Highway and the Glenloch interchange. We have completely reconfigured Glenloch interchange. For the four years that Mr Smyth was in charge of it, we did not see anything. We did not see a sod turned; we did not see anything. We saw estimates of $32 million for half of it. There were no funds provided for Caswell Drive at all—nothing.

Mr Smyth: There certainly were.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Smyth says, “Yes, there were.” If there were, why on earth didn’t you start the work? There were only two reasons for that, in my view: abject, bone idleness—complete laziness, incompetence, ignorance—and the fact that you were ceremoniously tossed out of office, all of which sound good to me. I am sorry: I actually built a road for the people of Gungahlin to come out on and to go back into Gungahlin on—29,000 of them a day. I am sorry for those 29,000 people that they now have a road to go on that they did not have before.

I just cannot believe that Mr Pratt would ask such a question. We are getting on with the project. It is being done. I had a conversation with a person on the weekend who said: “I have to go onto the bike path bit. What are you doing?” I said, “We’re duplicating it.” He said, “Well, that’s worth the wait then.” When was the last time I asked whether Mr Pratt had been on it, and how often he goes on it? I suspect that is not very often at all. I do it quite regularly, and I have to say to you that it is a very pleasant trip. It is the best project. And where did the delay and the additional costs come from and who is responsible for them? Was it us that started the argument about the alignment? I don’t think so. Did we have friends on the hill that we could use to do some arm twisting around the AIS to get that bit going? I don’t think so. Was it us that stood on the top of an old dump at O’Connor and said, “We’ll take you to court if you do this”? No, I don’t think so. But what happened in that ensuing period can be laid at the feet of this guy’s political predecessors. We are seeing the last vestiges of those scary Carnell years sitting here smirking like the instrument of death. The puppet master sits there with a smirk on his face. Look at him. He says, “I’ll get you, sunshine.” Well, bring it on.

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