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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 558 ..

MRS CROSS (4.28): Mr Speaker, I think we need a recap of this issue to place some perspective on this debate. I foreshadow that I will be supporting Ms Tucker's motion and the first of Mr Corbell's amendments, but not the second.

The genesis of this debate, unfortunately, goes back to the planning evolution of Canberra. I say "evolution"because public transport was always contemplated in Walter Burley Griffin's plan. Professor Peter Newman summed up the situation in his 1992 publication Canberra a New Vision (the Gungahlin Urban Village), when he said:

We are often intimidated from pushing for a more diverse built form in Canberra because we may be accused of wanting to destroy the city's amenity: wanting to destroy Griffin's vision. Griffin's vision however, was for a dense city centre. Griffin's plan shows a market centre where the Russell offices now stand; it shows a municipal centre at Civic, it shows a retail core stretching from Civic to Russell, south of Constitution Avenue in Commonwealth Park. Griffin's commercial centre overlooked the lake, the Parliamentary triangle and the mountains. Griffin designed a dense city centre, a dense built form in the Parliamentary triangle, dense housing on the main avenues and a city centre linked to the lake. Instead, Civic now has an empty large hexagonal void on a scale Griffin never intended; a void capped by a city centre hill which is inaccessible to all but the bravest pedestrian prepared to dash across three lanes of fast moving traffic. Griffin's vision has been all but forgotten, his name is used wrongly to justify the suburban sprawl.

Put simply, that suburban sprawl equals nothing less than the proliferation of cars and roads against the ethos of Griffin's dream. To illustrate Professor Newman's point about the betrayal of Griffin's dream, how many people take buses instead of cars to get to work every day? I know that Ms Tucker used to get buses quite frequently.

Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 4 January 1995 the Canberra Times reported that the Liberal Party was against light rail for Gungahlin because it would cost $1,250 for each household over three years and only 10 per cent of the population would use it. The then Leader of the Opposition was reported to have said that light rail was "economically irresponsible". However, the government agreed to pour $500,000 into a further study.

In February 2002, the Canberra Times reported that the Liberal Party was prepared to support light rail which was estimated to cost $80 million, up from $45 million in 1992. The Canberra Times reported that Mr Corbell stated that the terms of reference for a study into public transport options would include light rail.

On 21 February 2002, I moved a motion requesting the minister, Mr Corbell, to table the terms of reference of the feasibility study into light rail. The motion successfully passed the Assembly. During the debate, page 433 of Hansard, Mr Corbell stated:

The government has decided that this examination-

of light rail-

will take place in conjunction with a broad examination of all public transport options for our city.

All that is well and good. On 6 April 2002, in a media release entitled "Gungahlin-a unique place to live", Mr Corbell stated:

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