Page 196 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012
others under consideration, including some of the items flagged in the motion. My intention is to take informed decisions on roads and other transport matters that will produce good outcomes for the ACT community, for the environment and for business. This will be guided by a sensible and sustainable approach to the long-term development of Canberra and the relevant technical information that confirms the need and the measures required to achieve these outcomes.
MRS JONES (Molonglo) (4.04): I rise today to speak in support of Mr Coe’s motion calling on the government to improve roads in this city and, in my view, particularly in our city’s north. People who spend their life savings on a new home in Gungahlin deserve to be able to get to work in a reasonable time frame. The current state of two roads in particular in our city’s north needs attention. Despite new suburbs on either side not yet being even completed, Horse Park Drive is only one lane in either direction, and residents who have paid top dollar for new houses in Amaroo, Forde and now Bonner are moving at a snail’s pace every morning and every evening.
We live in the capital city of our nation. We expect a high quality of roads in our city, and I think this is reasonable. But it seems that, under this government, no road is ever built wide enough and it is not until the road is at breaking point and the people are extremely frustrated that, finally and reluctantly, this government makes an effort to improve the road. A main road that runs between major suburbs is not a luxury; it is a vital basic service, as are local shops, schools, parks, electricity provision, water provision and sewerage services.
You will be pleased to know I was studying up on Roman roads the other day and I learned that the road was made with a metalled surface constructed for the infantry to walk along while earthen bridle paths were provided so that the horsemen could ride along the side of these tracks. It seems to have been the inspiration for the construction of the aptly named Horse Park Drive, where the only people who seem to be able to move along in peak hour are motorcycle riders who ride along the verge beside the road. And that is not to mention Gundaroo Drive, which for over a decade now has been gridlocked nearly all day.
Having doorknocked very large swathes of Gungahlin during the recent election campaign, I can inform the Assembly that there is a great deal of frustration with a government which levies a high tax for service provision only to fail to deliver the basic services of proper main roads. It is like beer service on a champagne budget. I think the good people of Gungahlin have better things to do than to sit in their cars morning after morning, evening after evening on Roman-inspired, clearly inadequate roads.
Mr Rattenbury referred to a need for sensible and considered plans to improve such facilities. How did we get to this point where the roads are gridlocked before a plan has been developed to provide adequate roads? It is no longer good enough to say that Gungahlin is a new area. There are children who have been born, have grown up and have left home in Gungahlin and still the roads are inadequate. It is about time the government did something about it.