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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2188 ..

raised to an at-grade intersection with Commonwealth Avenue. Major works on this part of the project will commence in the first half of next year.

Delivering light rail to Woden will create over 6,000 jobs. It will give Canberrans on the south side more convenient and reliable transport options and help prevent the future traffic gridlock and cut transport emissions for a cleaner environment.

Stage 2 of light rail will ensure that Canberra grows to be a more vibrant, sustainable and connected city. It is important that we get on with delivering this future-focused investment now as we deliver a better public transport system, before our city experiences the same traffic problems that other cities face.

MS ORR: Minister, what is the ACT government doing about the disruptions associated with the project?

MR STEEL: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary. The ACT government is being up-front with the community that the construction of light rail will be disruptive for Canberra’s road network while we build a more vibrant, sustainable and connected city. Because of this project and parallel work that is being undertaken by the National Capital Authority, lane closures and diversions will need to be in place on Commonwealth Avenue for an extended period of years. This will see more traffic dispersed onto routes like Kings Avenue and Parkes Way. The construction will mainly impact those coming from the south side into the city, but there will be flow-on impacts for the rest of the road traffic network.

I want to assure members in this place and all Canberrans that we are putting in place significant preparation and planning to minimise this disruption. We do not want to see Canberrans stuck in their cars in daily gridlock. That is why we have formed a disruption task force that brings together expertise in road and public transport network planning, behaviour change, communications and community engagement.

Right now the disruption task force is making plans to mitigate the construction impacts, by identifying opportunities to manage network demand, provide alternative transport options and invest in new infrastructure, like road network improvements on other routes.

We will also be communicating early and often with the community and business during the disruption to give Canberrans the information that they need to make choices about how they move around our city and to help keep other people moving as well. We will be supporting Canberrans through this time, because we understand that disruption on this scale is coming and we need a clear and coordinated response led by government.

DR PATERSON: A supplementary.


DR PATERSON: Minister, given your warning to the Canberra community about the disruption now, when will construction begin?

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