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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (8 June) . .

Page.. 1862..


It is important, of course, to remember that election policy No 87, as costed by Treasury, included just $30 million for light rail for an engineering study, for a feasibility study. To date, we have already had over $100 million spent, and there is a lot more to come. Of course, that is $100 million in addition to the total payments of $1.65 billion and in addition, of course, to all the other off-site but essential works that will need be to done as part of this project which, again, those opposite very rarely talk about. There is half a billion dollars of expenditure in the outyears under this budget: half a billion dollars, a huge amount of money, in the next three or four years alone.

Of course, Mr Rattenbury talks about how transformational this is going to be for Canberra but he never really addresses why it is that we have so much development outside the current proposed light rail corridor or future light rail corridors. Why is it that Mr Rattenbury supports development in Throsby, in Jacka, in Taylor, in Moncrieff, in west Belconnen? How does he support that? How can he possibly say that he is being consistent when he says that he has got no problem with more greenfield suburbs that will never be served by light rail, yet on the other hand claims that light rail is going to solve all our transport problems? Of course, there is an extreme inconsistency in Mr Rattenbury's position here. But this is, of course, what we are used to.

Mr Rattenbury can talk about how we did not object to the Majura Parkway. We did not object to the Majura Parkway because it was a good project. It was a good project. At $288 million, paid for to the tune of about 50 per cent by the commonwealth, it had a BCR of four, in contrast to light rail, which has a BCR of 1.2. To put that in perspective, at a cost of $300 million under the BCR, the road is actually delivering more economic benefit to the ACT than is light rail. At a BCR of four, the $300 million for the Majura Parkway is actually returning over $1 billion of benefits to the ACT.

In contrast, even on their fanciful numbers in their light rail business case, the BCR of 1.2 will only deliver less than $1 billion of benefits for the territory. So you can spend $800 million and get $900 million back or you can spend $300 million and get $1.2 billion back.

Of course, the Majura Parkway was a much better deal for the ACT. In addition to that, half the money came from the commonwealth. That is why we did not oppose that project. In actual fact, I think it was controversial in part but the evidence won out. The project went ahead, and it has been very well received. However, the evidence does not back the decision taken by this government.

The evidence does not back the deal done between Labor and the Greens following the last election. To that end, that is why there are so many thousands of Canberrans that are furious with this government that keeps driving up the cost of living, driving up rates, driving up land tax, all to fund their pet project, which is the consequence of the deal done between Labor and the Greens following the last election.


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