Page 2101 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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infrastructure priorities. You will see that many of them have been included in our budget appropriations, both last year and this year.

The former Chief Minister held a number of roundtables with industry to look at how we better plan and provide advice and information to industry around our infrastructure and the timing of those infrastructure decisions. There is also substantial work going on at the national level around capital city strategic planning systems, which also feeds into our policy documents in this area. I think there is more to be done in terms of identifying our plans and being able to do that in a timely way for industry to have some certainty about what the government is thinking, but obviously it is a balance between that and making those budget decisions year by year. I note that there are some recommendations, I think in the estimates report, in one of the 194 recommendations, around the timing of the infrastructure plan. We will certainly look at that in the context of our response.

The effort that has gone in over the last couple of years in improving our communication with industry but also focusing on delivering the program that we are outlining is already showing positive signs. At the end of April this year, the year-to-date expenditure for the capital works program overall is nearing $500 million. It certainly will have exceeded $500 million by this time, because those figures were at the end of April. This is really pleasing—to see that so much of the program is actually being delivered upon. And of course this is just the cash flow of the payments for delivery of that program.

Obviously the projects are continuing as we speak. There are a number of significant infrastructure projects underway and, of course, included in this year’s budget. It is a big part of our budget and we know that our infrastructure needs, particularly in roads, public transport and health, are going to be significant, not just for this year but for future years.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how do the two infrastructure roundtables that the government has held in the last year support the infrastructure plan?

MS GALLAGHER: The former Chief Minister held two roundtables with industry and community over the past year to have a look at how we can build on the infrastructure plan that was released last year.

I think the major issues that came up were around the need for increased urban densification and cost-effective maintenance of new and existing infrastructure; the capacity of the private sector to manage infrastructure and government work; opportunity to look at how the one public service model can improve collaboration; the need for integrated land use and public transport—I think certainly the realignment of the ministerial portfolios and some of the restructure of the ACT public service will address that particular area of need—looking at the impact of demographic change on infrastructure development—that is, of course, really important in both schools and education but also in terms of public transport as well—

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