A Matter of Public Importance

Today, in the Assembly, Elizabeth Kikkert MLA raised as a matter of public importance, the issue of our road maintenance. As always the Government chose to evade the issue, instead touting how well they were doing - which as Ms Kikkert had already made clear, the only reason any road maintenance had been done on time, was due to the influx of funding from the Federal Liberal Government.

I spoke in support of this very important issue to our Gunghalin residents. The following is the text of my speech:

"I would like to make a few brief comments this afternoon about what has become a serious and pressing issue for Gunghalin residents, the importance of better roads and road maintenance. This morning was another 50 minute drive into the city, a journey of typically 15 minutes at non-peak times. Just getting out of our suburb took more than 10 minutes, as we waited to get onto the single lane Gunghalin Drive, past the Gundaroo drive intersection, a distance of 1 km.

Despite a number of long-awaited road upgrades in the Gungahlin district, residents are suffering from years of ignorance of local commuter and road user needs. The road facilities have not matched the rapid increase in population, and any remedial action creates increased traffic gridlock for commuters at either end of the working day.

Significant development has taken place and continues in the north of the region yet the population is serviced by single lane roads. The much-needed duplication of Horse Park drive seems mainly to service the new suburb of Throsby which attracted super premium prices for residential sites. Major problems still exist with the eastern segment which connects to the attractive Majura Parkway conduit.

Gungahlin Drive had remedial work done at a choke point near Mitchell but no action was taken to duplicate the section west of Gundaroo drive which experiences severe morning congestion from the expanding regions of new Ngunnawal, Moncrieff & Casey. Clarrie Hermes Drive should have been constructed as a dual carriageway to channel more commuter traffic towards the Barton Highway.

Poor scheduling of the Barton Highway/Gundaroo Drive roundabout has created a major traffic problem where three southbound lanes converge into one, immediately after the roundabout exit. No plans have been released for duplicating William Slim Drive to ease traffic flows towards Belconnen.

The inadequate main roads are also causing problems in inner suburban roads. Amaroo residents seek to avoid congestion on Horse Park Drive but traffic backs up on Shoalhaven Cres through to Mirrabei Drive, as commuters seek a path out of the suburb. Residents tell me it takes even longer to get out of here in the mornings! Whilst getting out of the only 2 exits out of Crace is a morning nightmare.

Once out of the main Gungahlin suburbs motorists experience more congestion on Flemington Road and through Mitchell before being forced into 2 lanes along the Federal Highway/Northbourne Avenue. This also impacts on city-bound traffic leaving Gungahlin drive onto Ginninderra Drive as it is affected by the Northbourne Ave works. No upgrades have been made to the off-ramps to Belconnen Way to cater for increased city-bound traffic from Gungahlin & NSW regions to the west & north of Canberra. A similar situation applies to the off - ramp onto Parkes Way at the Glenloch interchange.

The people of Gungahlin are tired of being ignored, of having poor roads, or long traffic commutes. What we need is good roads in and around our suburbs; we need to be able to exit our suburbs with ease. Gungahlin does not seem to have a road network capable of dispersing traffic at peak times. It is time for the government to address this matter of public importance."

You can view the speech here