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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 432..


Papers

Mr Wood presented the following papers:

Subordinate Laws Act, pursuant to section 6-

Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act-Arrangements for employment of staff and engagement of consultants and contractors by Members of the Legislative Assembly-Disallowable Instrument No DI 335/2001 (LR, 2 November 2001).

Orders of the day

Ordered that notices 7 and 8 be postponed to a later hour.

Light rail services-proposed feasibility study

MRS CROSS (5.12): Mr Speaker, I move:

That the responsible Minister present to the Assembly by 4 pm, Thursday, 21 February 2002 the draft terms of reference of the Government's proposed feasibility study into the provision of light rail services in Canberra.

I do not think this needs to be a long debate. This motion simply requires the minister to table the terms of reference of the feasibility study into light rail that he announced last week. If the terms of reference are yet to be written, I am happy to amend the motion to suit the minister, on the proviso that they are tabled before the study begins.

The feasibility study will be an expensive exercise and carry with it high community interest and expectations. This is an important matter to get right. The questions being asked in the study need to be right and in this instance warrant some scrutiny. Light rail is becoming increasingly important to the residents of North Canberra as an additional form of transport. In recent years its advantages as a transport option have become more apparent and cost effective.

The Canberra Liberals support the establishment of a light rail system in the north and look forward to the results of this study with great interest. However, I did note the minister's reluctance last week at a special meeting of the Gungahlin Community Council to give any commitment to light rail, even if the study provided an overwhelming case for its introduction. I think this is an important point, because I pressed Mr Corbell on this point, and he would not give any commitment. I and many of those who attended the Gungahlin meeting were concerned to hear the minister so lukewarm on light rail and consequently wish to be assured that the government's study has appropriate terms of reference.

This study is critical to the future of Gungahlin. This area needs, and expects, a comprehensive and complementary transport network that caters for bicycles, private cars and various forms of public transport. The Canberra Liberals recognise this and seek to ensure this comes to fruition. We see light rail playing a central role in the North Canberra network. To this end, it would be disappointing to see proposals for light rail in


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