Page 1767 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 5 May 2010

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MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, how does the funding in this area announced in this year’s budget build on projects currently underway?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for that question. Indeed, as members are aware, there are very significant roads and transport works currently being pursued in the ACT. I am sorry; I am happy to pursue this on another occasion.

As I indicated today, there is in transport or roads at the moment works of somewhere in the order of—I believe the precise number is $186 million in contract work on roads currently being delivered: a very significant investment, an investment which at one level responds to the need for upgrades to deal with congestion, the need for just maintenance and the fact that our road infrastructure is perhaps the most expensive piece of infrastructure requiring constant, regular maintenance that is vested in the territory, in addition perhaps to our housing stock. It is an asset that requires a very heavy level of continuing maintenance.

This very high level of current work that you will see around town, which I am receiving some representations on—I have asked the public, the people of Canberra, to be patient, to understand the need to invest in roads, to maintain, to upgrade, to extend, to expand. We have roadworks—indeed, I understand that there are currently, in operation or active, 40 roads-based contracts in excess of $1 million being executed throughout the ACT.

Part and parcel of that large level was a deliberate decision taken in last year’s budget to ensure that we supported this community, supported jobs, supported the economy through that particular budget to do what government can do to ease us through the global financial crisis. It is a great credit to the Treasurer, Katy Gallagher. As a result of the spectacular success of last year’s strategy, we find ourselves able today to—(Time expired.)


MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the minister for community services. Minister, the agreement of COAG for changes to childcare arrangements includes a significant alteration to ratio numbers. What impact will this have on the existing childcare numbers in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his interest in childcare. The COAG reforms are around quality services for our childcare sector. Indeed, the clock starts ticking in July of this year and you will find in the budget an allocation that will support our sector move through that transition. The COAG reforms—we have been through this—are around increasing the quality of the workers, increasing the standards and qualifications of workers, within the sector. It is also about improving the worker-to ratio.

Every mother and father and family that I have spoken to actually welcomed the improvements of quality in the childcare sector. There is no reason to think that

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