Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 November 2022) . . Page.. 3635 ..
conservative elements in her own party, as they continue to stand up against progress in this city.
Only our government can deliver the big infrastructure that is built for Canberra. We are the only side of this place with a vision for the ACT’s future—the only parties with a plan to make sure that Canberra stays one of the world’s most liveable cities. We have committed to light rail at multiple elections. We have taken it to the people, and we are getting on with the job of delivering on our promises.
As we promised Canberrans we would, we are starting with the raising of London Circuit, and we are building stage 2A to Commonwealth Park on the way to Woden. The ACT government will continue to invest in the road infrastructure, active travel infrastructure and public transport infrastructure that our city needs as we grow, so that more people can move around more efficiently, more easily and, importantly, safely. We will continue to work with the commonwealth, and continue to advocate to achieve those outcomes. We will not be supporting this motion today.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.00): I rise in support of Ms Lee’s motion today, because we think roads are important. When you first read Ms Lee’s motion you could be forgiven for thinking that the Liberals are suggesting that Labor does not think that roads are important. I do not think that is correct. I think Labor does understand that roads are important. We all know the Greens hate roads; they just hate them. They would get the bulldozers and rip up the roads, plant some gardens or turn them into bike paths! But ACT Labor do place some importance on roads.
They would love to be spending money on roads, but what we are seeing is the
whirlpool effect of the tram project, because when they started planning for stage 2 the government had no idea that it would cost them over $3 billion. Now they are staring down the barrel of a project that they have committed to, but they are not really sure how they are going to pay for it. They do not know.
What we are seeing playing out here, with this promised road funding, is a process that is set to be replicated in many different ways, some of it on public display and some of it behind closed doors, as we lurch forward down this track, because the project has blown out to a cost which is almost impossible to appropriate for. So whatever funding can be siphoned into this project, from wherever creatively it can be siphoned, that is where it will go!
We saw it early on in the piece with the Asset Recycling Initiative money from the federal government. Ms Berry, who struggles to follow some of the documents, is adamant that money from the Asset Recycling Initiative did not get funnelled to light rail. We know it did. Jon Stanhope knows it did. The voters know it did. Everyone who read the ARI agreement that I tabled in estimates hearings knows that it is the case. That document was very clear. It very clearly articulated that all the assets, the entire proceeds from the sale, and the federal government top-up, went straight to light rail. We are talking about ageing public housing complexes and some other assets. Line by line, it articulates that those funds went to light rail.
Now what the government is saying is that Canberra’s motorists should have to pay for those funding decisions. When we say pay for it, we mean in a number of ways. At the most extreme level that results in tragedy because, at the finest point, road