Page 966 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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transit system for Canberra. I know the opposition want to continue to cling on to this weird view that some Canberrans on the southside should not have access to the same great public transport that people enjoy on the northside. We disagree with their view. As Senator Seselja said, Madam Speaker, the debate is over. The debate is over.

Opposition members interjecting

MR STEEL: He said:

What I’ve always said is that, once the first stage of light rail was completed, it makes absolute sense to expand that, and have a network not just from Gungahlin to the city.

I could not agree with him more Madam Speaker.

Opposition members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, Mr Parton is on the floor.

MR PARTON: Minister, would the final cost of stage 2 creep over $4 billion if it were to extend to Mawson?

MR STEEL: I reject the premise of the question. We will of course consider the cost and the benefits of extending light rail to the southside as part of the business case for stage 2B. There will be substantial benefits. Benefits that the opposition simply do not want the southside to realise or benefit from.

Opposition members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Members. Members. Members! We will give it to Mr Davis.

MR DAVIS: Minister, what would be the benefits for my constituents in Tuggeranong if the government committed to building light rail to Mawson?

Mr Hanson: By my constituency he means Greens voters.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson no one is asking you.

MR STEEL: In order to get light rail down to the southside and to places like Tuggeranong in future, we do need to build it and extend it from stage 1 in the City, from Alinga Street down to Commonwealth Park first, down to Woden, down to Mawson and down to Tuggeranong. We will not be able to start from Tuggeranong so we have to start here in the City and build it south. That is the work we are engaged in at the moment. Our focus at the moment is on stage 2A but of course we will be considering future extensions as well that will include the potential of going down to Mawson.

Opposition members interjecting


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