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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2790 ..

rail stage 2A project. The report noted a consultant’s advice that the demand model should be revised to reflect light rail stage 1 performance. It seems that this advice was rejected and reliance was placed on the figures for south Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne. Minister, why was the decision made to use a demand model for light rail stage 2A based on Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, when we have our own data from stage 1?

MR STEEL: Because light rail stage 1 was not operational then. The whole point about this business case is that it was developed a couple of years ago, before light rail had actually become operational. What we have seen since then is that patronage figures were higher than what we were expecting in the 2014 business case. We saw over 15,000 people using it each weekday. That is incredible—much higher than what was expected when we originally agreed to develop that very successful project.

I think we have shown a very strong track record of delivering the transport benefits, and I see no reason why we will not be doing that with stage 2. I expect that more people will be using public transport as a result of that. Indeed, that is the objective of this whole project.

MR HANSON: Have you questioned the validity of the patronage assumptions that have used Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne? Has the business case been updated to reflect stage 1?

MR STEEL: As I said, we have seen significant benefits from people using public transport and stage 1 of light rail, and that has informed the decision-making process on the stage 2A business case. We want to continue those benefits by extending the line down to the south side so that more people can catch it on the south side as well. Those assumptions are something that we are not planning on unpicking. They have been delivered in a business case that has already informed the decision to move forward with this project. We have seen since then, through the benefits realisation plan that was delivered for the stage 1 project, the significant extra benefits that have accrued from delivering light rail, and we expect those to continue in the second stage.

MR PARTON: Minister, when can the people of Woden and Tuggeranong expect to see the first trams rolling into their respective stations?

MR STEEL: As I have outlined, there are some significant milestones for this project which we are moving through. Work is underway on the early works, and now we have to get work underway on raising London Circuit, which will be an important project for the southern end of the CBD, and which will also help to facilitate light rail stage 2A. Many of those decisions are not in the hands of the ACT government. Of course, we also need to go through a procurement process. It is contingent on that procurement process being delivered, and the outcome and program delivery time line will be available once we go through that important process over the coming months.

Arts—Statement of Ambition

MS ORR: Minister, you released a Statement of Ambition for the Arts late last week. Can you update the Assembly on what the ambition is for the arts in the ACT?

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