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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 August 2017) . . Page.. 2688 ..

in the Erindale group centre. A master plan design of the Erindale shopping centre was completed five years ago and it has taken five years for the stage 1 development to be started. On 8 May the minister responded to my letter informing me that stage 1 work was due to commence in May 2017. I followed up on the lack of progress in a letter dated 8 June, to which the minister responded on 4 July stating that work was due to commence in July. Minister, we are now in August. Why has work not started, and will the delay affect the completion date?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Lawder for her question and follow up. It is regrettable that there have been some delays in commencing that piece of work. It will start this month. Those delays unfortunately were around contract negotiations. The contract for design was, as you know, awarded in January 2016. Stakeholder consultation to inform the concept was completed last year. Public consultation on the preliminary sketch plans happened midway through last year. I understand that construction will start this month and is scheduled to be completed in November. While I regret the delays in the commencement of this construction, we all look forward to seeing those works completed in Gartside Street.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what consultation, if any, has taken place to advise building owners, tenants and businesses of the delay?

MS FITZHARRIS: I believe that there has been ongoing consultation with local businesses in particular who will benefit from the upgrades at Gartside Street. If that has not happened more recently, I will make sure that local businesses know that those works will get underway this month.

MR PARTON: Minister, can you explain why there has been delay after delay on this project?

MS FITZHARRIS: There have been delays. On many occasions the development of a contract and the negotiation to complete that contract can be protracted. In this case we will see upgrades at Gartside Street completed in December this year. We are also very excited about other upgrades to local shopping centres, group shopping centres and the town centre, particularly in the Tuggeranong region, in Kambah, in Erindale at Gartside Street, and of course those in the Tuggeranong town centre.

Transport—electric buses

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Can the minister update the Assembly on the progress of the electric bus trial?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Cody for her question. I am very pleased to update members on the progress of the electric bus trial. I was very pleased to announce in the last few days that Transport Canberra has entered into contracts with two vendors to supply three alternative energy vehicles for a 12-month bus trial right here in Canberra.

This announcement further strengthens the government’s commitment to providing Canberra with an innovative and integrated modern public transport system. It also

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