Page 4218 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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My motion asks for further work on light rail in key areas of Canberra and for renewed work on bids for money. Again, through Mr Corbell’s motion, the government does not do that.

My motion asks for work to be done on sustainable rail freight. Mr Corbell’s amendment removes that completely. The result would be that the government will do nothing on sustainable rail freight. This is despite the fact that the government is already breaking promises made in 2009 to follow the rail master plan and to conduct detailed analysis, consultation and consideration of providing freight rail infrastructure. This was supposed to be done by mid-2010.

Mr Corbell’s proposed amendment removes my calls for cross-border cooperation on regional rail. It removes my request for ministers to lobby and work with their federal counterparts. I note for Mr Corbell—he said that I was apparently asleep, but it seems he may be the one who is asleep—that I did actually mention the Northbourne Avenue study of light rail in my substantive speech, and asked that this be expanded to begin work on a light rail network for Canberra.

As I also said in my speech, we have had promise after promise from successive governments on light rail and have seen no action. It is all very well to give us more words, which Mr Corbell has effectively done today, but he has dismissed a chance to take a positive way forward on rail in the ACT.

The sum of this proposed amendment is that the government will not have to do anything on rail and in fact does not even recognise the importance of rail. The people of Canberra will be disappointed that the government will not agree to a motion that would bring obvious benefits to them and would help achieve a better and more sustainable transport system.

The Greens will also not support Mr Seselja’s amendment to Mr Corbell’s proposed amendment. It is a completely paradoxical amendment. The amendment purports that the Liberal Party is committed to rapid transport and decries that there has not been any progress. At the same time, Mr Seselja and Mr Corbell are removing all parts of my motion that will require any action. It is hypocritical and nonsensical.

Mr Seselja is all words and no action. It is easy to say that the Canberra Liberals are committed to rapid public transport, but where is the action? Mr Seselja and the government are today combining to deliberately stymie any action.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mr Hanson, if you get a warning you are out.

MS BRESNAN: Perhaps the biggest irony is that Mr Seselja says that the Liberals support an engineering study of light rail routes, integrated terminals for rail and bus connections, yet that is what he has just removed from my motion. If the Liberals were committed to this, they would have voted for this part of the motion. That would have required the government to conduct the detailed engineering studies. There is just no rational explanation for this, except that Mr Seselja does not really support his own policies.

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