Page 1087 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009

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about to move some distance away from the question that was asked. I would ask you to be directly relevant to the question.

MR STANHOPE: I certainly shall, Mr Speaker. In the lead-up—and this is the advice I have—to the 2001 election, the then Minister for Urban Services, the only person in this Assembly to have lost three elections in a row, ever in its history, one as leader and two as deputy leader, which certainly qualifies him—

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, you have ruled on this.

MR STANHOPE: I am going back to the question. This goes straight back to the question. The question was about the history of Fairbairn Avenue and the history involves Mr Smyth because he was the minister. In the lead-up to the 2001 election, the government of the day asked the department—the election was approaching—to develop a five-year traffic congestion program, at no notice. The program was to include upgrades of roads such as Cotter Road, Athllon Drive, Drakeford Drive and Fairbairn Avenue.

There was no public consultation on why any of these roads had been chosen for development of the roads. However, the government of the day considered that, irrespective of public consultation, the upgrade of these roads would be popular in an electoral sense. So there is the first part of the history on good old Fairbairn Avenue: the minister of the day, in 2001, in the run-up to an election, picked out five roads and asked for urgent advice on their upgrade because it might be electorally attractive.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order.

MR STANHOPE: I will get right to the nub of the question now.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I am taking Mr Hanson’s point of order.

Mr Hanson: The question was quite specifically about why the ACT government did not decide to duplicate Fairbairn Avenue in 2002. We are receiving a history lesson about things that happened before then. We really need an answer about what happened in 2002.

Mr Hargreaves: Who was the minister in the ACT government?

MR SPEAKER: Order! I am listening to Mr Hanson. Mr Stanhope, wait for one moment. There is no point of order. I believe that the Chief Minister is currently providing factual information and I am sure he will come to the final point very shortly.

MR STANHOPE: I will. I will get to the point right now. I am then advised that in mid-2002 Roads ACT—

Mrs Dunne: Bill Wood was the minister.

MR STANHOPE: That is right. In mid-2002 Roads ACT—yes, you had lost the election by that stage, the first of three elections that Mr Smyth was to lose in a row to

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