Page 1755 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022

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Minister for the purposes of the audit, and which could not be provided at the time the business case was released several years before. We have been very transparent in releasing the stage 2A business case and the economic analysis for all Canberrans to see, including Mr Parton and the opposition, and for the purposes of the audit. The approach of releasing the business case is the same approach that we took with stage 1, and it is the approach that we intend to take for future stages of light rail.

The fact is that economic analysis supporting the business case was conducted by a reputable firm, EY, who have undertaken this analysis on many infrastructure projects around Australia, including on stage 1 of light rail, which is proving to be a business case and economic analysis that is very conservative as time goes on. And EY undertook the assessment on the project consistent with nationally accepted principles for infrastructure projects.

For Mr Parton’s benefit, I will just refresh the chamber on what a business case is. A business case is a point-in-time assessment tool. It is completed during the investment decision stage, when government is deciding whether or not it wants to proceed with a given project. It is a means of looking at the expected costs and benefits, based on information and project parameters available at the time it is completed. The project’s scope and risks are also included in there, to decide if a project should go ahead. That is the key point because, once we recognise what role a business case plays and when one is prepared in the investment decision process, we can see Mr Parton’s motion today for what it really is. Mr Parton is really demanding that we go right back to the start of the process and reconsider whether stage 2A of light rail to Woden should even get built.

By calling for a new business case, he is saying that the Canberra Liberals have not decided whether they support light rail. Have we got them over the line? They are undermining it every step of the way. They remain to be convinced that improving public transport for the south side by delivering the north-south spine extension of our future light rail network is a good idea. They are not even sure that people in Woden and beyond deserve the same high-quality, clean and efficient public transport option that thousands of people on the north side have been enjoying every day since April 2019.

That is completely at odds with what they told Canberrans on the south side during the last election and the half-hearted gestures of support that they have offered ever since, including in the chamber. Let us be honest. Today’s motion is just another example of Mark Parton and the Canberra Liberals trying to have it both ways, saying that they support light rail to Woden while undermining it at every opportunity through this chamber, the media and loopy social media posts. They say that they are concerned about project timing, that they want the whole project to go back to the beginning stage that we started at in 2019. I am stick of it, to be honest, and I think Canberrans are too.

Stage 2A of light rail is going ahead. We have already started work on it. Early works for the project are happening just outside the door. Work will start on London Circuit very soon. The wrap-up in the next couple of months will occur on the procurement process and then we will be moving into construction work, following contract

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