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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (29 October) . .

Page.. 3754..

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you have asked your question.

MS GALLAGHER: We are planning the commencement of a light rail network in the 2020-21 financial year; that is, on the current projections, when the light rail trams will start moving in this city. On Mr Hanson's logic, we should wait till perhaps 2020 and then start a five to eight-year planning process to deal with the fact that we have large areas of congestion on the north side of Canberra, not only people sitting in cars but also the rat-running that will inevitably occur in Belconnen and northern Canberra. That is why we are planning for it.

Go and have a look at where there are cities with real transport problems and congestion right now. They are all playing catch-up. We are trying to make sure that we are not playing catch-up. We are actually continuing Canberra's reputation as the world's most livable city, and we have got that well planned.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe! You will have an opportunity to ask questions.

MS GALLAGHER: And we are investing in infrastructure at the right time.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Chief Minister, how will light rail make Canberra an even better place to live?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Berry for the question and for her understanding of the importance of this project not just as a transport alternative but as a way to ensure that Canberra is able to develop and maintain its standing as the world's most livable city. That is because of the other benefits that will come with a project like this.

We know that the interaction between light rail and the urban land use around that corridor will bring other benefits to the whole of the city, and we look forward to realising those. Again, with the release of the business case on Friday, I think it will show very clearly the other benefits that come from a project that will help build a modern transport system for this city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, when, if ever, does the ACT government expect that light rail will be extended to Belconnen, Woden, Weston Creek, the inner south or Tuggeranong?

MS GALLAGHER: As the government has made clear on a number of occasions, there is currently a light rail master plan exercise being undertaken by the Environment and Planning Directorate. They have been undertaking consultations across the city, and when that is finalised it will be made available to the public.

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