Page 1760 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022
environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, business cases, cost-benefit analyses and benefits realisation plans, whenever these can be provided. We want open and transparent access to government information, and we want a clear presumption of proactive disclosure as part of our robust freedom of information system, whenever that can be done.
It is important, when we are talking about light rail stage 2A, to remember that we are not talking about stage 2A in isolation. That is true for any piece of transport infrastructure; it is particularly true for this one. This is a part of a whole. Looking at 2A in isolation would be like looking at a bridge in isolation when there are two roads connecting it. It would not make any sense at all. You have to look at the whole project. It would be like looking at the merits of Barry Drive if, instead of connecting to Belconnen, it stopped at Fairfax Street. That is simply not how we look at these infrastructure projects. I think that Canberra as a whole understands this.
I hope that today’s motion is a genuine measure to promote transparency. I am looking forward to more transparency. I am hoping that it is not simply an attempt to revive the light rail wars. That would be a shame. I think we lost a lot of time on that, and we have heard tripartisan support for light rail stated in here a few times. I am hoping that we are not once again going back to the drawing board and reconsidering the entire project. I am also hoping that, with a change of federal government, we might get smoother delivery of this project and more federal funding for this project.
There are some incredible opportunities that can be delivered by light rail to Woden. We have some significant opportunities for infill, for transit-oriented development, for a lot of the climate-friendly development we know will house a growing population—the kind of development that the IPCC is telling us we need to have in our cities, the kind of development that we know every growing city needs. We need this type of transit-oriented development and this type of smart infrastructure project in order to deliver a livable and sustainable city. We know that that will be better for people on the planet. We know that we cannot keep doing things the way we did them in the past in Canberra. It is simply not going to work.
I will keep asking questions about this project and scrutinising the delivery of light rail. I will keep advocating for the best possible system. I am pleased to see this motion, but the ACT Greens will be supporting the amended version of it. In the interests of transparency, we think that the amendment reaches the mark.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.24): I thank members for participating in this debate. In response to Mr Steel, I would say that this motion has got nothing to do with allowing us to see the entirety of the heavily flawed economic analysis that was referred to in the Auditor-General’s report. It has nothing to do with that. This motion calls upon the government to do what the Auditor-General wanted them to do, and that is to go back and do it again.
Like the Auditor-General, I understand what a business case is. I understand what an economic analysis is. The first public official to call for the business case to be re-prosecuted was the Auditor-General. He was the one who said, “Let’s go back and do this again.” So Mr Steel’s criticism of me in this chamber surely must also apply to