Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1219..
disservice to light rail in Canberra. You can be an advocate of light rail but still be critical about how this government is making decisions.
It is all very well for Mr Rattenbury to say to me, "You need to be objective."We are being objective. Look at all the reports; look at all the information. Does Mr Rattenbury honestly believe that the government has made the case for light rail? Perhaps it is he, Mr Rattenbury, and others in this place that are blindly following the government and Mr Corbell's leadership on this issue when they all know that this project is not being managed very well.
Mr Rattenbury said that there were problems with the cost-benefit analysis. That is the analysis that this government submitted to Infrastructure Australia. It does include an environmental impact. It does include time savings. It does include noise. It does include numerous other factors and it still said that bus rapid transit was better. Mr Rattenbury asked me to be objective and then says that I need to look at the intangibles. It is very hard to be objective and to look at intangibles, and he failed to actually mention what they are.
I urge everyone in this place to be very careful about blindly following the government on this project—whether it is simply in this chamber, whether it is in committee or perhaps even in party rooms. I urge everyone in this chamber to scrutinise the project so that we will get the best possible outcome. If the government is going to deliver this and if the government genuinely starts to deliver this, then we will scrutinise it to make sure we get the best possible outcome. But it still does not mean that the project, based on the information we have now, is enough to commit to. It simply is not.
We do believe that we should be getting adequate information about the project before we decide on whether to go ahead with it or not. But all the information they had at the time of committing to this said that bus rapid transit was a better option. Yet somehow $614 million has been committed to. I imagine that in a month's time we are going to see in the budget some of the capital being put in there, because to date it is unfunded.
Madam Deputy Speaker, for yourself in Ginninderra which, of course, includes three suburbs of Gungahlin, for Dr Bourke, for Ms Berry and for Mrs Dunne in my electorate in Ginninderra, I think we have got to be looking at this. Are we doing the best thing possible for our electorate? Even those members representing Molonglo, are they doing the best thing possible for their electorate when you consider the cost of $614 million plus interest plus recurrent costs?
How many people are actually going to be within walking distance of light rail? How many people? Why cannot the government tell me this, because I have asked this? They cannot tell me. These are core questions that you would think they would have answers to. There are many, many problems with the case the government has outlined to date. If the government has this really compelling case, why are they not conveying it? Why are they not conveying it? We all know that there are people in the government, people who work in government departments, who are going around town saying that this project is a disaster. We all know it.
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