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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2738 ..


Debate resumed from 25 August 1999, on motion by Mr Hird , as amended:

(1) That the Assembly notes the importance that an International Airport in Canberra and the Very High Speed Train would have in promoting investment and employment in the Capital Region and providing the means for deferring the construction of a second Sydney Airport;

(2) That the Assembly agrees that this motion should be forwarded to the Commonwealth Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon. John Anderson MP, advising him of the outcome of the motion for his consideration.

MR HIRD: I seek leave to speak to this motion, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR HIRD: The Carnell Government has strong policies, supported by strong practices, in the area of transport development. We have strongly proposed the improvement of Canberra's transport links to the rest of Australia, we have worked hard to get Canberra's airport upgraded to international status, we have set as a priority the establishment of a high-speed train link to Sydney and we are working closely with the Commonwealth Government, including agencies such as the Department of Transport and Regional Development and the National Capital Authority, to make the national capital more accessible to Australians and international visitors.

Over a number of years, the Government has built up a comprehensive transport strategy that focuses on the critical links into and out of the Territory. We aim to ensure that the improvement of these links supports the development opportunities for the region and builds on the internal efficiencies of transport movement within Canberra itself. Part of the overall strategy is to develop an interface or node for internal and external traffic in the Majura Valley, with the airport as the hub or, as it has been described, the travelport. The concept is simply that there be an efficient interchange between air, rail and road traffic.

That brings me to the proposal for an international airport in Canberra. The Commonwealth Government completed the privatisation of Canberra Airport in mid 1998 and we were fortunate that a local consortium took the opportunity to purchase the airport. This Government has worked closely with the new owners in developing a management plan that will directly benefit and line up with our vision for the airport.

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