Page 2779 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 29 June 2010
invest in a better public transport system are the right ones. Improving the public transport system to the point it needs to be to secure a sustainable transport future is a long process, but there now have been steps taken in the right direction.
I would also like, just briefly in the time I have got, to mention one other issue in the TAMS portfolio in my electorate, the Tuggeranong Town Park outdoor stage. It is my understanding that in the current budget there may be insufficient funding to complete the actual stage and that at this point further funding has not been forecast. It is my understanding that the current funding would mainly complete earthworks and also some of the initial foundations for the stage but that to complete the stage some other substantial work needs to be undertaken.
I would note that the Chief Minister did announce in a media release of 11 May that the funding allocated in the budget would allow for the completion of all necessary works, and it is my understanding this may be the case. We do need to recognise that this is a very important part of, particularly, the Tuggeranong Festival for it to grow and also to increase availability of that area for future events. So I look forward to hearing further from the Chief Minister on when the stage will be completed, particularly for the certainty of the Tuggeranong Festival and all of the people in the area. This will be a very important addition to the area and I think they need some certainty around when that will be completed and when they can expect to see this funding.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (7.40): I will speak briefly now on areas covering planning and management of ACT parks, reserves and open spaces, and a little later in the debate I will concentrate on the issue of urban trees.
Output class 1.4 in the TAMS portfolio covers planning and management of Canberra’s parks, reserves and open space system. It is the work of Parks, Conservation and Lands. The total budget for output class 1.4 in the 2009-10 budget was just over $75 million. Its estimated outcome for 2009-10 is in fact $87½ million, which is $12½ million or 17 per cent more than was budgeted.
On top of that overspend, it was announced in this place last week that Parks, Conservation and Lands will receive almost $3 million from the Treasurer’s advance during 2009-10. According to the Treasurer’s tabling statement, it was to enable PCL to maintain its service levels. Going back a little further, I see that the total cost budget for 2008-09 was $76.7 million, with an estimated outcome disclosed in the 2009-10 budget of $84.2 million. So Parks, Conservation and Lands, in that period, had a budget overspend of $7½ million or almost 10 per cent.
One thing, or a combination of three things, is happening in Parks, Conservation and Lands. One possibility is that Mr Stanhope, as the minister responsible, is incapable of understanding that PCL needs more money to be able to do what it has to do. Another is that Mr Stanhope, yet again, is so distracted by his personal legacy projects such as the arboretum and public art that he has taken his eye off the ball and allowed inefficiencies to perpetuate within this agency. The third possibility is that Mr Stanhope simply cannot do the numbers; so let me do them for him.