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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . .

Page.. 196..


Mr Corbell: I appreciate this is a wide-ranging debate, Mr Assistant Speaker, but the motion is actually about infrastructure in Gungahlin. As fascinating and amusing as Mr Coe's diatribe is on the political dynamics in this place, the focus is infrastructure for the people of Gungahlin. Perhaps you could draw him to order, Mr Assistant Speaker.

Mr Wall: On the point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker, Mr Coe is debating the merits of light rail, which is one of the largest pieces of infrastructure this government has committed to for the people of Gungahlin.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Coe, continue.

MR COE: I pledge to remain relevant to the motion, Mr Assistant Speaker.

The genesis of this infrastructure project for Gungahlin is the Labor-Greens agreement. There they were just after the 2012 election, in the government media room with Mr Rattenbury in the middle, Mr Barr on one side and Ms Gallagher on the other, all with big smiles, saying: "We've committed to four years in office. Oh, and by the way, we're going to spend $783 million on a tram." That is the genesis of this project. It is not a member here in this chamber right now. It is not a member of the Labor Party. It is the Greens who are the genesis of this project.

The Canberra Liberals unashamedly say this is not the best way to spend $783 million of capital. It is simply not. Whether you look at it from a planning point of view, a transport point of view, a financial point of view or an economic point of view, it simply does not stack up.

If you want density up and down Northbourne Avenue, we have already seen that. We have seen that with many different apartment buildings—with the Axis, Space, Space 2, Avenue, Phoenix, IQ apartments and many others. Density can happen up and down Northbourne Avenue without light rail. All that needs to happen is that the government needs to free up land on Northbourne Avenue and we will get the density there.

What is more, people who live on Northbourne Avenue are very well served by buses which run up and down Northbourne Avenue. In fact, they are the best served people in the ACT when it comes to buses and public transport. There will be fewer opportunities after the construction of light rail.

The Canberra Liberals firmly believe there are many opportunities for infrastructure, whether it be transport infrastructure, social infrastructure, education infrastructure, health infrastructure or any other forms of infrastructure, in Gungahlin. We have to realise that by spending $783 million on light rail we are forgoing a lot of those other types of infrastructure which could be invested in that community.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (4.58): I thank Ms Fitzharris for bringing this motion to the Assembly this


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