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No money = no roads = chaos (says Zed)

By Kerces - 21 November 2005 8

One of the side effects of the ACT Government’s money problems (which we appear not to have covered — how very remiss — so have a look here) is that many roadwork projects are being put on hold.

Zed Seselja tells us he has major concerns about our roads infrastructre and the traffic problems caused by not getting the works done.

“One only has to look at the debacle with the Gungahlin Drive Extension to see just how inept the Government’s handling of roads infrastructure projects has been,” he said.

“Firstly, it wasted 18 months arguing over the route of the road, then it reduced the road from four lanes to two, then it was embroiled in a legal battle, now the cost of the projects has blown out from $32 million for a four lane road to $105 million for a two lane road.”

Planned upgrades to Majura Avenue and Pialligo Roads have now been put on hold, in part because of the blow-out of expenditure on the GDE, and other works Mr Seselja thinks need to be considered soon, including on Lanyon Drive, Gundaroo Drive, and sections of Athllon and Tharwa Drives, look like they’ll be a long time coming.

Mr Seselja said, “If this Government had better managed its roads infrastructure projects and better managed the overall budget Canberrans would be assured of a better roads network.”

UPDATE The ABC’s take on this is here.

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8 Responses to
No money = no roads = chaos (says Zed)
glimmertwin 8:07 pm 21 Nov 05

Given the huge amount of oil that is required to build a road, not just in the ashphalt but also in running all the equipment, it is no great surprise that it costs more to build a road now than it did back in 2001.

The real scandal is that only $32m was budgeted to build four lanes back in 2001. That figure is about as believable as the alleged time savings on the imaginary city to belconnen busway.

Kerces 1:56 pm 21 Nov 05

I must say on my first reading of Zed’s press release I thought he was saying it was the Government’s fault they got dragged through the courts by Save The Ridge, which I thought was a bit unfair. However I was assured that actually the Government did foul up and if they hadn’t left some loophole or not not followed due practice or somesuch then although there would have still been a court challenge by STR it wouldn’t have dragged on anywhere near as long.

I believe the budget blow-out for the GDE comes because they had to keep paying the contractors during the time of the court cases even though no work was able to be done. Of course this may have just been some rumour and not the actual reason.

Evictor 12:56 pm 21 Nov 05

We can’t afford to build more roads. And fair enough too. I mean, what would happen to the Gay Whales if it wasn’t for us Canberran’s???

Thumper 12:33 pm 21 Nov 05

Ferret,

without doubt we will see tollways in the ACT within 5 years, especially if this current government remains in power.

thus far we have seen that their financial management skills are almost non existant and that a lot of policy is simply driven by ideaology, not logic.

Sadly, I’m really not sure if the opposition can do any better.

And as for the GDE, what a joke. By the time it opens they’ll be planning on widening it.

Growling Ferret 11:55 am 21 Nov 05

Making GDE one lane each way is a disgrace. Have any of these clowns seen the amount of traffic leaving Gungahlin in the mornings down Gundaroo, Horse Park and Gungahlin Drives?

Instead we get stupid expensive roadworks at the airport/office/shopping centre, an expensive pointless widening of Fairbairn Avenue, barely used cycling lanes and resulting lowering of the speed limit on Northbourne Ave – and a $150mill bus lane that defies the laws of physics.

There is money to spend, its just spent on the wrong projects…

I just hope noone mentions the terms private/public partnership or toll-road anywhere around the Legislative Assembly…

Maelinar 11:42 am 21 Nov 05

I was just thinking of the same thing…

Are the legal costs added to the actual cost of building the road though ?

I’d like to know how much it is going to actually cost to build the road, and how much is going to pay for legal costs.

ssanta 11:38 am 21 Nov 05

“One only has to look at the debacle with the Gungahlin Drive Extension to see just how inept the Government’s handling of roads infrastructure projects has been,” he said.

“Firstly, it wasted 18 months arguing over the route of the road, then it reduced the road from four lanes to two, then it was embroiled in a legal battle, now the cost of the projects has blown out from $32 million for a four lane road to $105 million for a two lane road.”

Surely thisd finger really ought to be pointing to the genius’ we know as Save the freaking ridge?

Thumper 11:22 am 21 Nov 05

Well we ain’t got any money so somethings going to have to give….

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