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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . .

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certainly appears from early indications in terms of interest in real estate along the stage 1 corridor that the community is welcoming light rail arriving in this area.

We want to work with businesses to maximise the benefit. We are already seeing increased activity in Gungahlin along the corridor. The Real Estate Institute of the ACT has reported and commented that good public transport connections are an extremely important issue for buyers and that light rail will make Gungahlin even more appealing.

The government is getting on with the job of delivery of this project, transforming our city and boosting our city's economy in the wake of the federal Liberal government's job cuts. This is a project that is going ahead after decades of talking. It is interesting to look back on some of those decades of talking. There was a time when the Canberra Liberals issued a policy document entitled Time to take light rail seriously, where they said that the community are crying out for vision and for something to be done on this issue. Well, I am pleased to report to the Canberra Liberals that, yes, there is a government with vision and there is a government that is actually going to do something about this. That is this government, and the time is now.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Chief Minister, how can local businesses benefit from this project?

MR BARR: I am delighted to be able to advise the Assembly that this morning I announced a very important partnership between the ACT government and the Canberra Business Chamber. The Canberra Business Chamber is on board with the government to partner with industry to maximise the benefits of this important project for Canberra business.

The chamber recognises the enormous economic benefits of this important infrastructure project and will be working closely with local businesses and the government. They will strengthen local business capacity to participate in the project, improve engagement and help explore and identify a range of new opportunities and new business models for Canberra business. I thank the Business Chamber for their strong support of the project, their engagement and their partnership with the ACT government in its delivery. I cannot think of a better partner to assist us to work with local businesses.

I am pleased to advise that construction on the project will commence next year and that many local businesses will be participating in the project. Many are already participating through their work directly with the Capital Metro Agency or with individual consortia. This will be a great project for Canberra, and we look forward to delivering it in 2016.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Chief Minister, are you aware of any concerns raised by the business sector about the security of government contracts for the capital metro project or any other major infrastructure project?


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