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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2752 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

I join Mr Quinlan and other speakers, including the Chief Minister, in expressing the view that the region can benefit from using the facilities of the ACT for shopping, medical services or educational services. I know that even Mr Berry has a passion for trains and planes. I am delighted that the members of the Labor Party will join us in this motion and I trust that they will talk to their Federal and New South Wales colleagues.

The crux of the matter in raising it at this time is twofold. One is that the issue of Badgerys Creek is being discussed by Federal Cabinet right now. The other is that there is a good opportunity, as I said in my earlier remarks, to join both projects together, that is, the very fast train project and the development of Canberra Airport as a travelport. I was surprised, however, to hear the words of the member for the Greens, Ms Tucker. Someone may well say that it is typical of her to want to do nothing, but when I analysed what she said I thought that it went against her own philosophies and those of the Greens. She is arguing for more usage of motor vehicles on the highways because, as this region develops, the movement of freight and normal transport for the residents of this region will become greater and the only way that the needs could be satisfied in the transport area would be by road, which would mean more heavy vehicles and more pollution.

I was delighted that Mr Kaine complimented the motion. I know that he has been a great supporter of the very fast train project from the early days when he was Chief Minister. Certainly, as a pilot, he has been in favour of upgrading Canberra Airport.

Someone - I think it was Mr Kaine - said that I had generated a media report about the Brisbane-Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne corridor for the very fast train. Let me tell members that I placed this motion before the Administration and Procedure Committee just over a week ago and Mrs Carnell came up with the idea of a Brisbane-Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne corridor as an alternative to Badgerys Creek in the press on the weekend.

The benefits that can be derived from this proposal at the end of the day can be seen from the latest journal I have of the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation - the quarterly report for April to June 1999. The 30-day Floriade attracted 467,000 visitors in 1998, half of whom were tourists. Collectively, they contributed $19.2m to the ACT economy and generated 700 full-time and part-time equivalent jobs, with benefits flowing through to all sectors of the local tourist industry, particularly the attractions and accommodation sectors. That shows what is happening right now with the resources that we have. If we have this infrastructure and these sorts of resources, the benefits would be tenfold.

I am very pleased that I have the support of members of this chamber and I do trust that the Howard Government, especially the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, will take note of the recommendations of the motion. I am sure that they will seriously consider the proposition because Badgerys Creek is a problem that they will have to come to grips with as their own members with electorates in the area may well cross the floor in respect of the issue. Before I finish, I seek leave to table the Capital Airport Group's site plan for a travelport.

Leave granted.

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