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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2788 ..


making sure that we open doors and windows that have been previously sealed to allow that fresh air to come in. In some ways, the fires last year created some challenges and some conflict with what we now face with COVID-19, but it also gave us a greater understanding of how our ventilation systems work across our ACT public schools.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Braddock, a supplementary.

MR BRADDOCK: Will the government prioritise work for those schools whose students are unable to access vaccinations—that is, the under-12 age group?

MS BERRY: All schools will have a ventilation plan in place before students return to school, which is what occurred for the year 11 and 12 students returning to colleges. They had a ventilation plan in place to ensure that that fresh air was able to flow through the school communities.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Clay, a supplementary.

MS CLAY: Will the implementation of the ventilation plans be complete before students return to school?

MS BERRY: Yes, they will be.

Light rail—stage 2 economic analysis

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. I refer to the Auditor-General’s report on the economic analysis of light rail stage 2A. The report noted a high degree of reliance on the light rail project stimulating development of the Acton waterfront and other wider economic benefits to demonstrate a convincing economic argument. In the absence of this assumption, the economic benefit dropped from 56c per dollar to only 21c per dollar. Minister, how can you possibly argue that a tram stop in Acton, only a short walk from Civic, is going to stimulate a massive residential development in that area?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. And the benefits of stage 2A are weighted towards city shaping and land use benefits and the wider economic benefits. And this is unsurprising given that the route—1.7 kilometre route—extension goes to Commonwealth Park with three light rail stops adjacent to City Hill the Acton waterfront and West Basin. There is a lot of potential in this area. The approach taken by the ACT government’s economic advisers was to quantify the city-shaping benefits within the stage 2A business case as an assumption that development of the Acton waterfront would be accelerated by two years compared to the base case without the impetus of the stage 2A project.

So light rail projects are a proven catalyst for urban renewal and development across the globe. If we had not included those benefits in the business case we could have been seen to have erred in our duty by not quantifying properly the benefits of this project. And we have seen in stage 1 of light rail the very significant land use and city-shaping benefits that have accrued in that project, far beyond expectations in the


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