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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 November 2014) . . Page.. 4070 ..


result of this project; $140 million in infrastructure efficiency savings—that is better use of infrastructure and significant efficiency improvements in city infrastructure; $240 million in land use benefits associated with the increased capacity to bring forward development that would not otherwise be occurring along the corridor; $13 million in environmental benefits; and $5 million in walking and cycling benefits. Whilst this is a smaller figure in the overall benefits analysis of the project, it is not one that should be underestimated, given the very significant costs associated with growing obesity and lifestyle-related illnesses in our city and the impact they are having on our public health system. Finally, there is $198 million in wider benefits across the ACT economy.

These are very significant benefits for the city as a whole. They are quantifiable; they have been developed consistent with accepted economic analysis practice; and they have been delivered by a firm with global experience in undertaking these types of assessments.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, how much money has been budgeted for land acquisition along the route?

MR CORBELL: Land acquisition costs are expected to be marginal; indeed, it is possible that we will not see any land acquisition costs. To the extent that there are land acquisition costs, they are considered to be very marginal because we have a dedicated reservation for this project, with the land already within territory ownership. There is one small site on Flemington Road, but in that circumstance my understanding is that it is not about the cost of land acquisition; it is about a transfer of title between existing government landowners.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what else does the business case say about the benefits of the light rail project for the whole of Canberra?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the supplementary. I draw members’ attention to those broader benefits associated with the indirect job creation opportunities of around 50,000 jobs between now and 2047. These, of course, are associated with the economic opportunity that light rail brings. It is about creating the spaces and places and the certainty in the investment environment that allows development to occur along the corridor. These are the objectives that this place has debated at length ever since self-government—the requirement to bring forward development to accommodate a growing population in a way which is a more sustainable pattern of settlement.

This project will allow us to meet those ends. We know there is significant capacity for growth along this corridor, to accommodate more dwellings, using the existing land use zoning along this corridor. It is not about changing the zoning; it is about bringing forward the capacity for that growth to actually happen.


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