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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (13 August) . .

Page.. 2497..


Capital metro will provide business and investment certainty, stimulating significant economic activity as land surrounding the light rail increases in value and is used more efficiently. As a modern and attractive transport mode, light rail attracts more passengers out of cars than is typically achieved by buses—up to 20 per cent of new light rail system patronage comes directly out of cars. Modern transport infrastructure such as light rail brings people together, connects them with their destinations, supports a more active lifestyle, greatly reduces emissions and encourages people to explore and interact with the city without being in their cars.

We want Canberra to be a smart and sustainable city that grows through more compact means, high quality transport connections, more active lifestyles and a revitalised city centre. We want and need light rail. When do we want it? Now!

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.48), in reply: It is a pleasure in many ways to respond to those contributions. A lot needs to be said to comment on what Minister Corbell, Minister Rattenbury and Dr Bourke said. They demonstrated why I spoke about the emotional attachment, because they did not speak of facts, they did not talk about patronage, they did not talk about costs; they spoke in the airy-fairy emotional world of, "Wouldn't it be nice to ride a tram." Well, Madam Assistant Speaker, the vast majority of people like the idea of hopping on a tram, but if you then ask them to spend a billion dollars on it and $50 million to $100 million every year to simply have the same numbers currently riding a bus hopping on to a tram, perhaps you might get a different response.

Minister Corbell spoke at length about this being about freeing up the roads and getting people on to public transport. As we know from the patronage figures released by the government, it is not getting people out of their cars; all it is doing is taking them off the bus and putting them on to a tram. The patronage figures are the same for buses as for trams on the same corridor. But we are spending a billion dollars to get there. It seems very extravagant to me.

It is interesting that Minister Corbell should personally attack Mr Nairn—again. The point Mr Corbell attacks Mr Nairn on is with regard to the alignment. The executive summary of the URS report, which Minister Corbell waves around on demand, says:

The concept design in this report recommends a kerbside alignment for either LRT or BRT along Northbourne Avenue, transitioning to a median alignment before Barton Highway and running in the median to the Gungahlin Town Centre ...

That is what Mr Nairn's report went off—he went off your report! So the very report that Dr Bourke thinks is immoral for the opposition to quote from has actually got its underlying assumptions from the government report. For some reason when the government quotes from one of their commissioned reports it is okay, but when the opposition quotes from an opposition-commissioned report, it is immoral. There is a tremendous double standard in this place.


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