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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2781 ..


Opposition members interjecting—

MR STEEL: We have seen that benefit. That is the same benefit that we want to provide to the rest of Canberra and the south side. It sounds a lot like the Liberals are not committed to it.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Parton.

MR PARTON: Minister, what actions did you take to remedy that critical deficiency of the lack of an economic model and spreadsheets for assessing the validity of the benefits?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. Of course, we will be responding comprehensively to the Auditor-General’s report, which provided just three recommendations in relation to the stage 2A business case. We will be providing a response to that. I am sure that Mr Parton will be interested in seeing that response more fully.

The government has made a decision to progress with this project. The business case was developed to inform a government decision and it is in the context of our commitment to bring light rail all the way to Woden. This is a business case that just looked at stage 2A. That is an important first step to get it to Woden where we know that there are more significant benefits for our city—transport benefits, sustainability benefits and also city shaping benefits. While there are benefits for stage 2A, we know that our ultimate goal is to make sure that we deliver this light rail backbone, this mass transit backbone, from north directly to south to Woden. It is going to be a Gungahlin to Woden route, a Dickson to Deakin route, and it is going to provide significant benefits for our city.

We do not just look at the benefits along the 30-year BCR appraisal period. This is an infrastructure project that is going to benefit our city for generations to come, for 100 years. BCR numbers are an important part of the mix when we consider business cases, but they are not the only consideration. We have seen the benefits of stage 1, where the BCR actually went up—the benefits actually went up—because we delivered it underbudget. We have seen the extraordinary benefits—the transport patronage on that project and city shaping benefits—and we expect the same benefits to be delivered when we take it to Woden.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, how can you be confident that many millions of Canberrans’ taxes and rates are being well spent on the project, given the lack of a proven business case, and what is it that you have to hide?

MR STEEL: We have got nothing to hide. We have shown an unparalleled level of transparency in relation to this project in releasing the business case and publishing it online for the community. It has been up there for some time, but you have not asked me any questions about it. We have also provided it to the Auditor-General


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