Page 3209 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

From the $210 million for transport infrastructure in the 2017-18 budget, more than $71 million will be invested in building better roads for Gungahlin and Belconnen: $57 million of this will be dedicated to completing the duplication of Horse Park Drive between the Federal Highway and Mulligans Flat Road; and $9.8 million will be devoted to duplicating Aikman Drive between Ginninderra Drive and Emu Bank, a key piece of infrastructure for the public hospital to be built at the University of Canberra. And we are not investing just in roads.

Public transport is a necessary component of any effective and efficient transport system. ACT Labor showed its commitment to that ideal by taking light rail to not one election but two elections. Construction has already started on stage 1. I know my constituents in Yerrabi and people right along the line are very excited at its commencement. But it will not stop just in Yerrabi. The government has also committed $53.5 million to the second stage of light rail between the city and Woden.

Of course, a modern public transport system cannot rely just on roads and rail. The digital infrastructure that supports our transport system is becoming more and more important. $2.1 million has been announced to progress the procurement of integrated bus and light rail ticketing. This will make it easier for Canberrans to use both buses and light rail to get around Canberra.

In the past five years the number of families in the ACT has risen from 93,000 to 102,000. With more families comes more Canberra kids. Our education system needs to grow to ensure that all Canberra kids receive a world-class education. The ACT government is meeting this growth by investing an additional $210 million in our education system right across the territory. This investment will see over $26 million in upgrades to expand schools in Gungahlin. The existing schools of Harrison, Gold Creek, Neville Bonner Primary School and Palmerston District School will all benefit from this investment. The government will also commence design and feasibility work to explore options for a new school in east Gungahlin.

The growth in suburbs like Harrison and Franklin has been extraordinary and, judging by the level of construction activity occurring currently, it is likely only to continue. It is great to see that we are preparing for that growth now.

I mentioned in my speech yesterday that schools do not just educate our children. They form an integral part of the community. They are often used not just by their school community but by various other community and sporting groups. The ACT government recognises this and that is why I am very pleased to see that this budget has increased the scope of the proposed north Gungahlin school so that it includes two playing fields.

Our growing population has also meant we need to invest more in our health system. With the federal Liberal government’s repeated attacks on our healthcare system, state and territory governments must meet any shortfalls in funding. That is why we are investing an additional $443 million in our health system. When others do less, this

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video