Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2063 ..
already considering rent increases. For some businesses, the vultures are circling, ready to pick off the weak and failing.
In addition to an environmental impact statement, the government should have commissioned a business impact statement. Perhaps that would have alerted them to the impacts that construction would have on local businesses. I can only hope that this motion informs future large-scale projects in the ACT so that the impact on businesses is considered and, where possible, overcome.
I acknowledge that Gungahlin, as the second fastest growing region in Australia, has a lot of things happening in terms of development, change and growth, but there is no denying that the light rail is at the centre of these disruptions and is also linked in some way to the other projects in the area.
It may be too late for meaningful construction scheduling changes, but focus must be placed on completing an assessment of the impacts of this project. Quite frankly, businesses in Canberra deserve better. I implore members of this chamber to support this motion and help the Canberra Liberals to support businesses in the ACT.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (11.48): I move:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
“(1) notes that:
(a) the ACT Government is delivering stage 1 of a city-wide light rail network, the biggest infrastructure project the Territory has ever undertaken;
(b) the project is creating employment with almost 80 percent of the workforce coming from Canberra and the surrounding region;
(c) the Government is delivering significant investments into the Gungahlin Town Centre, including light rail, the construction of a new bus station, and upgrades to key intersections, including new traffic lights. The Government is also creating a new shared-zone for Hibberson Street, after considerable community feedback to improve the pedestrian experience;
(d) the Government acknowledges that these are significant construction projects which have caused disruption to local businesses and community, but will have significant community and business benefit when completed;
(e) during construction in the Gungahlin Town Centre, the Gungahlin region has also welcomed new businesses in Franklin, Amaroo and Casey, significantly increasing the available retail in the region and improving competition;
(f) the ACT Government provides funding to the Canberra Business Chamber for the Light Rail Business Link (LRBL) Program which provides ongoing communications, industry collaboration and business support programs, to mitigate impacts to business along the light rail corridor;