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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2387 ..

several pop-up sessions including just in the past month with them. I have been meeting with the business representatives, including the Business Chamber as well as Women in Business. They are represented also on the stakeholder reference group for the project, which will feed into the project as we go through the construction period.

We undertook an assessment of light rail stage 1, which looked at the learnings for business, and what we heard from business is they want early and clear communication so they have certainty to plan for what is going to happen during the construction period.

It will be a disruptive process for businesses, particularly those that operate on the western side of London Circuit, but, of course, the flow-on effects with the traffic disruption could affect broader sets of business. So we are engaging more broadly with the community and the business community. We will have more to say on that as we progress with the project and the project disruption task force work.

We know this is a critical part of work and the partnerships that will need be to formed going through this process are going to be critical so that business has the information they need to be able to get through this challenging period. (Time expired.)

MS CASTLEY: Minister, why have you only engaged with the business community rather than engage in detail risk assessments early?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her. In fact, we are taking a range of different assessments in relation to this project and how we engage with business. We will be conducting survey work with business. We have been talking with them face to face about what they would like to see during the project. We will be taking that on board as we go through this project build. It is something that will benefit the businesses along the route, and that is very clear.

This is going to be a project that will provide better public transport access to the western side of London Circuit, where predominantly the businesses operate. It probably will not have as great an impact in some senses as the Gungahlin project, which is right in the middle of the business centre, but it will provide a significant benefit for business in the long term. We want to make sure that they can harness those benefits as part of this process.

MR CAIN: Minister, what compensation will you provide for businesses that are forced to close and for people losing their jobs as a consequence of several years of disruption?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for this question. It is pretty unusual to provide direct compensation for businesses while we are undertaking major public infrastructure work that is going to benefit the city and benefit businesses. We are getting on with the work we need to to engage with businesses. What we have heard from them is they want clear information early so they can make better decisions. That was a key learning from stage 1, and that is what we will be doing—engaging with them over the coming weeks and months.

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