Page 1799 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 April 2009

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MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. The government has received what I believe can be described as a final report which has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia. The original documents in relation to our bid were lodged, as I think you are aware, during the caretaker period in the context of last year’s election. I just have to actually confirm that sequence of events.

The question of the release of the final reports in relation to the ACT government’s submission to Infrastructure Australia is something on which we have received a number of representations about which the government has given serious consideration in relation to the appropriateness and timing of their release.

I accept the advice that was previously provided to you. There was significant and serious consideration within the ACT public service, amongst advisers, about the implications of being seen to be agitating a particular position in relation to a commonwealth assessment process from the sideline and the implications of that in terms of the consideration of our overall bid.

I have no desire for the documentation, the reports into light rail, not being released and being made publicly available. Advice I received was advice around a concern about the basis or nature on which a submission to the commonwealth for significant funding might be released or might most appropriately be used.

I would need perhaps to take some additional advice on that. I have no desire for members not to have access to this report. We have given consideration to the question of what would be an appropriate time.

I will just take some advice today certainly from Mr Andrew Cappie-Wood, the head of the Chief Minister’s Department. It may be, Ms Bresnan, that subject to the attitude that members would be prepared to take in relation to the potential use of the document, or its further dissemination, the report could quite reasonably be provided to members today. But I would appreciate an opportunity of taking some final advice on that.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Is the Chief Minister aware that senior officers presenting information on the redevelopment of the Belconnen bus interchange at a recent Belconnen Community Council meeting explicitly indicated that there had been no provision made for the integration of light rail in this project either initially or at a later date?

MR STANHOPE: Some of the very significant and far-sighted work that has been done by this government in government was the identification of a dedicated transport corridor between Belconnen and the city. It is work that has been trenchantly opposed and criticised by the opposition in this place. But in the context of the future—and future planning, appropriate planning for the territory—it should be acknowledged that the very significant and important work that has been done by this government in identifying a dedicated transport—

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