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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 454 ..

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, Mrs Cross asked me about whether or not the government was ignoring the transport needs of Gungahlin residents. I am demonstrating that we are not.

The light rail option must be put back on the table. It is always interesting to hear from the Liberal Party on this point. They say, "Oh, we should be looking at this and we should be looking at that. Where is the vision, where is the view?"and all that sort of stuff. Who was the party that canned the last investigation into light rail? The Liberal Party. When Kate Carnell got elected in 1995 she canned it. That is what happened. That is the visionary view, that is the constructive approach from those opposite-can it; cut funding to ACTION; impose a three-tier bus fare which drives people away from the buses. That is the Liberal Party's view on transport policy.

This government is going to put these options on the table. The light rail network that I flagged in my speech last Thursday-

Mrs Dunne: In your stunt last week, yes.

MR CORBELL: You are just jealous, Mrs Dunne. The light rail proposal that I put in my speech last Thursday highlighted that one of the key considerations for light rail would have to be the number of trips it could generate. When you look at employment locations you will see that the single largest area of employment location in Canberra is the Civic-Parliamentary Triangle-Russell area. That is the single largest concentration.

Mr Smyth: But have you spoken to-

MR CORBELL: I do not know whether you have noticed, Mr Smyth, but Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Woden are not connected to each other. Have you noticed that? That is a bit funny, though, isn't it? Mr Speaker, that is the single largest concentration of jobs and in that respect it is possible that a light rail could work there.

The government is not ruling out light rail for Gungahlin-not at all. As I have said, the government has made no decision on timing or on implementation of this particular proposal. But the government is prepared to put issues on the table, we are prepared to explore them, and when we receive the finalised reports on the public transport futures feasibility study, the pricing study and the pricing elasticity study we will be in a position to determine the best possible response to addressing transport needs for this city. That is the government's considered view. It is a comprehensive policy approach-one which the previous government neglected for the past six years.

It is important that, as a government, we put issues on the table, that we raise them and that we get people thinking about them. I am amazed that the Liberal Party-perhaps it is because they are so bereft of ideas of their own-is not prepared to welcome a debate about light rail; that they are not prepared to welcome a discussion about how to best improve transport in our city. No, we get just a straight reaction from Vicki Dunne, "Oh, that will never happen."That may be Vicki Dunne's view of the world but we are interested in making these things happen and having a good discussion about this as a starting point. We are prepared to put these issues on the table; we are prepared to discuss them; it is just a pity that some other members of the Assembly are not prepared to have that debate.

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