NSW opposition leader Peter Debnam likes “options”. And “solutions”.
Last Friday, Debnam told a press conference that the state government’s plan to fix traffic problems on the Spit Bridge was a “band-aid” solution.
But when the focus moved to the tunnel the Liberal Party once proposed as an alternative solution, he turned to options and solutions … and 16 questions later no-one was any wiser about his options or his solutions:
(1) What about the tunnel that… the opposition committed to it last time?
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DEBNAM: That’s a long question.
(2) What about the tunnel?
DEBNAM: That’s a short question. Look I think we’ve got to look at all options, but they’ve got to be long term solutions, not band aids. …What I want to do, is sit down with all the stakeholders and see what we can do…
(3) So you’re backing away from the tunnel now?
DEBNAM: We’ve got to look at all options, with the stakeholders involved, but they’ve got to be long term solutions…
(4) So can I just clarify, the Liberal Party promised to build the tunnel. Is it dead, frozen, in limbo, what, where is it?
PETER DEBNAM: Look what we need to do is work with all the stakeholders to look at all options for that traffic congestion, but not band aid solutions.
(5) So, is the tunnel a band aid solution as well?
DEBNAM: I think we need to look at all options and we will. But we’ll do it in consultation with the stakeholders, not simply do a pre-election stunt…
(6) So you’re certainly not promising a tunnel?
DEBNAM: We’re going to look at all options and we’ll do that with stakeholders.
(7) Where does the promise to build a tunnel sit today in 2006?
DEBNAM: We’re going to look at all options, but we’ll do that with stakeholders. We won’t be throwing money at a solution that nobody wants …
(8) Mr Debnam, how about answering a question on the tunnel?
(9) What is your position on the tunnel proposal?
DEBNAM: We’re going to look at all options and we’ll do that with stakeholders. We won’t be throwing money at short term bandaid solutions…
(10) Sir, John Brogden was for the tunnel. Is Peter Debnam for the tunnel as well?
DEBNAM: We’re very interested in actually providing long term solutions for that region…
(11) Are you worried that if you commit to building a tunnel that it actually isn’t going to wash well with the people of Manly?
DEBNAM:..We actually want to work with the people of Manly and the northern beaches to deliver real transport options. Not a pre-election stunt…
(12) Is the tunnel a stunt as well?
DEBNAM: We need to look at all options… and I’m happy to look at that with the community. I mean the stakeholders have discussed this for a decade. We need to sit down with them and work those through…
(13) If they discussed it for a decade, how come you can’t make up your mind about the tunnel?
DEBNAM: …The community actually wants to sit down and work through the other long term solutions which include upgrading substantially public transport.
(14) Was the tunnel a stunt four years ago?
DEBNAM: We want to work with the community to deliver real solutions…
(15) Was the tunnel a stunt four years ago? It was coalition policy. Was that a stunt?
DEBNAM: It’s very important …that you actually understand from the community that they want long term solutions…
(16) Before we get to the last Saturday in March, will the voters know whether or not you’re promising a tunnel for the Spit Bridge?
DEBNAM: (Voters) …will have a very clear choice at the election between a band aid solution, which is the widening of the Spit Bridge, and a long term solution will also include substantial upgrade of public transport. How’s that?