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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 892 ..

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I can understand why they are embarrassed by the document. On that basis I am happy to table it. I am very pleased that now Mr Quinlan agrees with the Government on the approach that we have taken.


MR SPEAKER: Pursuant to subsection 8(4) of the Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Act 1997, I present an authorisation to broadcast given to a number of television and radio networks in relation to proceedings of the Assembly today, 24 June 1998, concerning a debate on the motion relating to preschool education in the ACT.

Report on Inquiry into Very High Speed Train - Government Response

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (3.27): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the Government's response to Report No. 4 of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism of the Third Assembly, entitled "Inquiry into the Economic Impact of the Construction of a Very High Speed Train", which was presented to the Assembly on 2 December 1997. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

It gives me great satisfaction to table my Government's response to Report No. 4 of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism on the inquiry into the economic impact of the construction of the very fast train project. It has been a fascinating project to be associated with and it is interesting that the project's life started around the same time as ACT self-government. Like self-government, there have been a number of times when there have been dire predictions of the project's future. Yet it is still moving forward and, in fact, is closer to implementation than at any time during the past 10 years. The proposal to link Canberra to Sydney with a high speed service, as I said, has been around for a long time and is about to come to fruition.

There are a wide range of opinions about the project. There have been doubters at all levels of government; many who have believed that the project would not happen. They said that the private sector was just not interested. There were even members of the community who felt it would not go ahead. Many thought that the link between Australia's largest city and the national capital was a great idea and simply asked, "When is it going to happen?". In fact, I think many of us on this side of the chamber felt that way. Since 1996, the ACT Government has cajoled, harried and used every means available to excite interest and to change the minds of those against the project. This task has not always been easy.

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