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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2388 ..

Light rail—traffic planning

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, you recently announced that during the construction of light rail stage 2A there will be considerable disruption to traffic flow around Civic due to works to raise London Circuit. Minister, when did your government first become aware of the extent of the traffic disruption that stage 2A would cause in Civic and its approaches?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. Of course, we are aware that a major infrastructure project is going create disruption. We have just built light rail stage 1, a significant infrastructure project that had some quite significant disruptive effects that involved building in the middle of the Gungahlin CBD and involved track being laid across major intersections along Northbourne Avenue. But this is the first time; we knew this when we made the decision that it will be running—

Mr Cain: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Steel. Your point of order?

Mr Cain: My question specifically was: when did the government first become aware of the extent of traffic disruption?

MADAM SPEAKER: I think the minister is going to that detail, Mr Cain. There is no point of order.

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. I have been clear that we always knew that this was going to be a disruptive process, because you cannot built a major infrastructure project without having some sort of impact on the road traffic network, in the case of light rail—it runs on the road. This, of course, is part of the planning. The work that we are doing around looking at the traffic modelling has, of course, provided more specific numbers around that. It is ongoing, in terms of what it will look like once we put in place the interventions to minimise the extent of disruption.

The reason that we are raising London Circuit—and it is pretty obvious that this project would have a major effect—is because we want to raise London Circuit to the same level as Commonwealth Avenue, not only to provide an access point from London Circuit onto Commonwealth Avenue for the light rail, so that it can get down to Woden, but also to provide much better access from the city to the southern part of the CBD and to the lake for pedestrians and cyclists, so that there is not a six metre-high wall in the way that blocks access between key parts of the CBD. That is going to be a very disruptive part of the project, but it is a decision that we have made for the long-term benefit of the city so that we have a city that is walkable.

MR CAIN: Minister, given the monumental scale of disruption to traffic flow, why did you not mention this until after the election?

MR STEEL: It is very clear that these major infrastructure projects have impacts, but the community also knows that they have very long-term benefits for the future of the

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