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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 October 2009) . . Page.. 4456 ..

about the $14.7 million investment in the Tharwa bridge to protect our irreplaceable heritage. They would also be interested in knowing about the $32 million investment in airport roads and about the $16½ million investment in Callam Street and the Belconnen town centre as part of a $124 million upgrade of the town centre as a result of a deal struck by this government with Westfield. There is also the $11 million for arterial roads to open up Molonglo, a new development front; the $12 million for the north-western pond to add amenity to that area for the people of Weston Creek and Molonglo; and the $20 million upgrade and duplication of Flemington Road. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Could the Chief Minister tell the Assembly the extent of underspend for the capital works budget this financial year and how that compares to previous years?

MR STANHOPE: I could. Just for context, I think we should perhaps go back to the Liberal years and the underspend generated by the Liberals on their tiny, minuscule budgets. It is quite remarkable. If you go back to the heyday of the Liberal Party in 1998, the underspend there, Mrs Dunne, was 37 per cent by your government on a $64 million capital budget—so on a $64 million annual capital budget, compared to this year’s $700 million.

This year, our capital budget, Mrs Dunne, is over $700 million; your 1998-99 budget was $64 million and you still, on a $64 million capital budget, could not deliver it. That is only capital upgrades. It is interesting to reflect on this.

Mrs Dunne: Relevance, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister!

MR STANHOPE: It is one of those school room exercises: stick up your hand and name one significant capital project of the Liberal Party in six years of government.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Chief Minister!

MR STANHOPE: Bruce Stadium—a ripper!

MR SPEAKER: I think you have set the context.

MR STANHOPE: The futsal slab, the explosion of the Canberra Hospital—

MR SPEAKER: Would you like to come to the question or resume your seat?

MR STANHOPE: Well, I was asked about the percentage of expenditure. You do need context. You need to go back—

MR SPEAKER: You have set the context, Chief Minister.

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