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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2869 ..

(d) raised questions about quantification of costs and benefits and highlighted the importance of developing a benefits realisation plan including on how light rail will facilitate development of Acton; and

(e) also raised further questions over the Business Case including the basis of patronage figures and the impact of COVID on future requirements for public transport; and

(3) calls on the Legislative Assembly to:

(a) request the Public Accounts Committee to consider and report on the Light Rail Stage 2 Project with a particular view to reporting on issues raised by the ACT Auditor-General; and

(b) note that the ACT Government will be providing a formal response to the Auditor-General’s report within three months.”.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (11.38): I rise to speak on Mr Parton’s motion and the amendments circulated by Minister Steel. Mr Parton’s motion highlights issues raised by the Auditor-General in his report of 24 September on the light rail stage 2A project. Stage 2A is the link from the city to Commonwealth Park via London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue. The government has released a redacted version of the stage 2A business case and the audit reviewed the economic analysis for this business case.

The audit concluded that the capital costs of light rail 2A are expected to be higher than the estimate identified in the business case, because estimates do not include retrofitting of the fleet for wire-free technology, which will be required for NCA approval. The audit queried evidence given for the value and capital cost in the accelerated development of the Acton waterfront and noted that, if Acton waterfront does not develop as fast as hoped, timing and values might change. The audit also made recommendations that Major Projects Canberra review and update the economic analysis and make this publicly available.

These are sound recommendations, and I look forward to the detailed consideration of them by government and by the public accounts committee. The public accounts committee is really well placed to give this major project the time and attention that it requires. We Greens believe in transparency and scrutiny. These lead to good government and sound project management. That is why we strongly support a committee referral and the implementation of the Auditor-General’s recommendations. But we do not support Mr Parton’s motion in its original form. That motion called on a review of many aspects of light rail, rather than simply focusing on the Auditor-General’s findings, and it failed to understand that light rail 2A is part of a larger project and a complete network.

The ACT Greens have been advocating for light rail for decades. It is high-quality, convenient public transport. It runs on our zero-emissions renewable electricity. It builds the transport corridors that our city needs now and into the future.

Following the 2012 election, the ACT Greens secured a government commitment to construct a light rail network. Our 2016 parliamentary agreement with Labor committed to complete stage 1 and to scope stage 2. Our 2020 parliamentary and

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