Page 3845 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022

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MR BARR: A tirade, yes. Here we go. I am pointing out that you are taking the same position as you did in 2012, 2016 and, it would appear, 2020, into 2024. All the best with that.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (5.11): I rise today to speak in support of Minister Steel’s amendment to Mr Parton’s motion. My speech today is a vote for light rail to be in Woden. The reason I joined the ACT Labor Party is that I recognise the ability of my colleagues to think about and plan in a careful and transparent way for the future, with imagination, with wisdom for the people of Canberra—to have vision, and no-one has vision like Minister Steel. Light rail is a vision that was delivered to the north of Canberra and now it is our turn to the south. I want to live in a city that is futureproofed. I want to see infrastructure that has transport benefits, economic benefits, environmental benefits and social benefits.

I was recently—actually, it was six months ago now—at a Woden Valley Community Council meeting where we had briefings from Westfield Woden, from the Southern Cross Club and from the Hellenic Club on all the millions and millions of dollars of investment that is going into Woden. An audience member asked the Westfield people, because the plan that they presented was very much a preliminary draft of the potential future for Westfield Woden, “What is going to make this happen?” and the Westfield guy came back and said, “The game changer is light rail. If light rail comes to Woden then we will be able to do this.”

You see the towers go up. The people that are investing their lives, their lifestyles, in Woden, in those towers, want to see light rail. They want to be part of a vibrant, buzzing, modern community. That is something that has been terribly lacking in the south of Canberra, and one of the reasons why I ran for election and why I am here today. I want to see investment in Murrumbidgee and in the south of Canberra, and this is exactly the way to do it: to bring modern infrastructure with intelligent design to the south of Canberra.

In closing—just a brief speech today—I am glad to see that this side of the chamber gets it, and I am glad to see the futureproofing of this city. I look forward to an integrated mass transport system being implemented in Canberra. Thank you.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (5.14): I want to respond to a number of the comments that have been made in this debate. It is good to have so many people involved. It is always good to see the chief wander on down and have a chat.

I want to take the Minister for Transport and City Services to task first up, because he said, “We have already started,” in reference to the works for the raising of London Circuit. I have mentioned this on a number of occasions. In previous discussions about this project, this government have, with a straight face, assured us that the raising of London Circuit had nothing to do with the train project. They just chose to leave these costs out of the business case for light rail stage A because they were going to do it anyway. It was not related in any way to this project.

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