Page 3833 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022

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receiving approvals in around quarter 2 of 2023. We will undertake contract negotiations for the delivery of the stage 2A main works contract while obtaining works approvals, which is expected to be received in around quarter 2 of 2023. Construction of the depot expansion will commence in 2023. The first new light rail vehicles are expected to arrive in 2024, with the retrofitting of the existing fleet commencing shortly thereafter, as it requires the new, additional ones to arrive to allow that to happen.

The specific delivery time frame for light rail stage 2A commencing operations is subject to receiving works approval from the National Capital Authority, a third party, and signing a contract with the ACT government’s delivery partner and the finalisation of an agreed construction program. Once the National Capital Authority has issued works approval for light rail stage 2A, the government will then shift its focus, with our technical design partners, to progressing light rail stage 2B to deliver light rail to Woden, which will include the planning, design and development and subsequent publication of a business case for stage 2B, which will go into how we will implement our commitment to bring light rail to Woden.

In the future we will undertake contract negotiations for the delivery of light rail stage 2A, in 2023. We will publish estimated costs for stage 2A and 2B once contracts are signed and procurement is finalised, to ensure that the territory is in the best position to achieve value for money. The opposition does not care about that, but we do, through our procurement program. We do not want the contract parties that we are negotiating with through the procurement process to know what we are prepared to pay for it ahead of time. It is simple infrastructure 101 that the opposition simply does not understand. All of the major stakeholders—Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, the MBA—are on our side on that one.

We will continue to release business cases and contracts for future stages of light rail, just as we have done with the other stages. We will commit to continuing to adequately resource Major Projects Canberra and other directorates to ensure that they continue to have appropriate capacity to deliver the infrastructure like light rail stage 2B, as we continue to progress with our vision of extending light rail to Woden.

Our government and the Labor Party recognise the benefits of extending light rail to Woden. We have published those benefits in the business cases. We understand the transport benefits, the wider economic benefits and the city-shaping benefits that light rail brings to our city. We have seen those benefits realised on stage 1, and they continue to be realised, with further city shaping still to come and future patronage growth on that route.

We commit to delivering light rail to Woden, and we are committed to realising our vision of a city-wide light rail network. Those opposite do not support that vision. This week it has become crystal clear that the Liberals do not support delivering light rail to Woden. They do not think that Canberrans living south of the lake deserve the same high-quality, frequent and reliable services that the ACT government have already delivered to north siders. They broke their election promise to the people of the south side this week. It is a betrayal of the south side.

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