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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2886 ..

TCCS could have an involvement where they approve plans and check safety. Unfortunately this has not worked out in the past. TCCS has basically been a blocker. But I was very pleased to see adopt a park included in the better suburbs budget initiatives. If implemented well, this could cut through these problems.

There are two issues the Greens are concerned about in the TCCS budget. One is waste. We would like to see a lot less waste going to landfill. The green waste bins that are rolled out should include food waste, again an estimates recommendation. The waste feasibility study should have ruled out incineration, because waste incineration is definitely not a form of renewable energy. There are sustainable and viable waste processing technologies that we should be exploring rather than incineration, especially for organic waste, such as large-scale composting and anaerobic digestion. I bring everyone’s attention to the last episodes of War on Waste, which covered this quite well.

Lastly there are trees. We know that all Canberra people love trees. They have wonderful benefits, ameliorating urban temperatures in summer and reducing the heat island effect; they have ecological value; and they are what make our bush capital. Our urban areas include over 750,000 ACT government managed trees. But this budget includes funds for only 1,330 more, which is a 0.18 per cent increase, which is seriously not enough.

In conclusion, I am pleased about some items here and some wins for my electorate, but we really do need to do a lot more on waste and trees, and we will talk more about public transport tomorrow.

MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (4.51): The government’s transport plans are characterised by a lack of transparency and a lack of genuine consultation. The government continues to tell us that construction on light rail stage 1 will be completed by the end of the year. However, as the end of the year quickly draws near, it is still not clear when it will be fully operational and carrying fare-paying passengers.

The government’s own budget papers acknowledge that the project has missed many internal milestones, some by up to five months. And, of course, the government’s proposed new bus network is due to commence in January 2019 and relies on light rail being operational. So if light rail is not up and running by then, the whole network looks like it will fall apart.

It is not just the timing of light rail that is still in question; the government is yet to publish up-to-date figures on what the whole project is going to cost. Notes in the budget papers state that the spending estimates for light rail are derived from the original program set out in the contract, and the government maintains that the project cost for light rail stage 1, as at January 2016, was $939 million. When will the government reveal the actual project cost evolving under the contract? How much is that in today’s dollars, and how much will it be when light rail is finally up and running?

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