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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1927 ..


We need to avoid locking in emissions by taking climate action now. This Assembly recognised that we are in a climate emergency. Action must be taken through the infrastructure that we are delivering as part of the ACT infrastructure plan. The decisions we make today will have lasting impacts. For example, the buses we procure today may still be on the road in 20 years. The gas boilers we install today may well be around beyond 2040. The greenhouse gases we emit while delivering these works will heat this planet for decades to come.

We also need to think about the emission impacts of transport infrastructure, such as road duplications. We need greater use of public transport and active travel, and this should guide our thinking on infrastructure spending. Our future climate is one that brings higher risks, such as heatwaves, bushfire and flooding. We simply cannot afford to ignore these risks or assume that business as usual will be good enough. We need to carefully consider these climate risks and plan for the uncertainty and higher risk that is coming. The cost of failing to do so will be high.

Government has a vital role in demonstrating how this change can be made. We can set the example for industry to follow and demonstrate what is possible. The ACT infrastructure plan is a major plank of doing this. It must reflect the ambition that we have for the future of our city. I think, as I have demonstrated, that a number of projects are already doing that, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to ensure that that is the case.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (11.17): I would like to thank the Chief Minister for the opportunity to update the Assembly on the infrastructure investments that the ACT government is making as part of the ACT infrastructure plan, and also the ACT government’s jobs and economic recovery plan.

Infrastructure is a key part of achieving our ambitious employment target of reaching more than 250,000 jobs by 2025. Our government is investing in a significant pipeline of infrastructure to support our growing city—across public transport, upgrading our strategic transport corridors to improve vehicle, public transport and active travel access; building a new Canberra Institute of Technology; as well as upgrading local community infrastructure, and so much more.

There is no greater symbol of our forward-focused, job-creating vision for our city than our investment in rail infrastructure. Light rail is the efficient, clean and reliable mass transit system that we need to help Canberra’s growing community get around. One light rail vehicle can carry up to 256 people, reducing congestion on our roads, while giving people an easier and more productive commute. Canberrans love light rail, something which is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that a third of current light rail passengers had never used public transport before.

We want to extend the same benefits that we have seen on the first stage of light rail to the rest of Canberra, starting with delivering stage 2 to Woden. Building light rail to Woden will help make Canberra a more connected, sustainable and vibrant city. Stage 2 to Woden will provide more convenient and reliable transport options for


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