Page 1356 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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The amazing thing, which nobody mentioned, is that in 2004 Roads ACT came out and said they had fixed the job. They came out and changed the entrance and said, “It’s done. It’s fixed.” All the people at the Nicholls shops, all the business owners and many, many people in Nicholls complained that it was not fixed. All they did was make the entrance a little less tight. They made it a bit straighter, but they did not change the fact that the car park was still too narrow. So here we are, four years on, and the government says, “We will have consultation. We are going to consult about how to fix this car park.”

All they had to do was increase the width by a couple of metres and it would have been fixed. They could not do that, so in 2008 they announced that they were going to be doing a consultation. Not many people knew about this consultation. They letterboxed a few houses and called that a consultation. Mary Porter went to Nicholls shops and said, “I’m consulting. Look at me. I’m consulting.” Then a few people put in objections, because not many heard about it; not many people knew that a consultation was taking place.

A few put in objections. Some of them did not even get acknowledgements from Roads ACT to their objections. Then, soon after, they were notified that the proposed changes to Nicholls shops car park had been approved—the government would be putting in 45-degree parking, making it one way and pretending that it was all a done deal.

They forgot to actually consult the people of Paisley Street. They forgot to consult the people of Decima Street. They forgot to consult the people of May Mills Street. They forgot to consult the people of Kelleway Avenue and the surrounding streets, including Lexcen Avenue. All those people were ignored. It is typical of the Stanhope government. They ignored the people who have the biggest stake, the biggest claim to having a smoothly running car park.

Let us go over a typical ALP infrastructure program. There is a promise. Then there is an announcement. Then, after the announcement, there is bad consultation. Then the work is delayed. Then they re-announce the project as an election promise. Then they do a cover-up. Then Mary Porter puts out a press release saying that she saved the day. That is the typical progress of an ALP infrastructure program. There is a promise and an announcement followed by bad consultation. The work is delayed. It is re-announced as an election promise. There is a cover-up, and then Mary Porter puts out a press release. I am guessing that either tonight or tomorrow morning we will see a press release by the member for Ginninderra, Mary Porter, saying that she saved the day again for Nicholls residents.

She has been fighting for them for four years and she still has not been able to get the car park widened by a couple of metres, but she saved the day. I take my hat off to Mary Porter. Nobody hits the forward button on an email like she does. Nobody does it better than she does. Nobody diverts the voicemail through to the minister’s office like Ms Porter does. She is an expert at it. She clocks up the stats so that she can put out a flyer in the election campaign which says, “I’m the hardest working person because I hit the forward button 1,300 times.” I take my hat off to Ms Porter and I am

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