Page 3549 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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The easiest thing for a politician is to stand up and say, “They did it.” We did put the promise there, we did do the work, and it is Mr Corbell’s insistence in playing community group off against community group to try and gain electoral advantage that put him in this place. And he was caught. He was caught saying to one group, “Yes, we’d go this route.” He was caught saying to another group, “We’d go that route.” He was brought to account in this place before the 2001 election, because that is Mr Corbell’s nature. He does not have any credibility when he says that it is 2½ months early. I do not think anyone sitting on the GDE at this time or between now and when they get home, patiently—and you have to say Canberrans have been pretty patient with the management of this project by the government—would believe that this thing is going to be open early.

Of course we had the remarkable backflip in the lead-up to the 2008 election when the then Chief Minister got a whiff of a story that Zed Seselja had the temerity to announce that he was going to duplicate the GDE immediately. And there was Jon Stanhope, just a couple of minutes before 6 o’clock on an afternoon saying, “I’ve done it first. I’m going to make this announcement. Trust me. I did it before anybody else,” because he was caught. They had data that said the GDE, when it was completed as a single-lane road as proposed, was already beyond the capacity.

We heard the words: “Five years, 10 years, 20”—whatever it was—“from now, it will be a perfect road for a long time; for 22 hours a day it will be an exceptional road.” But it was not, right from the start. I think for me the crowning irony of this is that, as they finished the bits of the road that they could put signage up on, they put signage up that was too small to read. Someone told me today that some of those signs have now come down and they are being replaced. I dare the minister to stand up and tell us how much replacing those signs will cost the taxpayer of the ACT.

It really is the crowning glory of the ineptitude of a minister who, 10 years ago, said: “On time, on budget.” He accepted the timing and he accepted the budget because it was politically expedient, because that is all he is. He is politically expedient. He does not deliver. He does not have the commitment. He does not have credibility. He does not have ability. What he has is a record—a record of non-achievement, a record of failure, a record of letting down the people of the ACT, a record of non-delivery, of blown budgets, of blown scopes, of blown timings. And it continues. We know that everything this minister touches, including the GDE—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mr Smyth, I am afraid the time for the discussion has now expired.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 5 May 2011, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I believe you are resuming the debate.

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