Page 73 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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MADAM SPEAKER: The question was directed to the minister for urban services.

MR CORBELL: Yes, Madam Speaker. I think the question was directed incorrectly. Responsibility for transport planning, including the light rail project, falls within my portfolio responsibilities, so I will take the question.

I appreciate that there will be a range of views from consultants in relation to the development of the light rail project. We believe as a government that this is a transformative project for our city, and the government is now actively engaged in discussions with a broad range of stakeholders and expert advisers in relation to the steps we need to take to deliver this important project. We remain committed to the PPP model, and all the indications to date would suggest that it is going to be feasible to develop a model, a PPP model, that delivers this project, which Canberrans are looking forward to seeing eventuate.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, will the government proceed with light rail even if no private sector money is provided?

MR CORBELL: I think it is a hypothetical question, Madam Speaker, but the government remains committed to the PPP model. As I indicated in my previous answer, we have no reason to believe that the PPP model will not be effective.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you explain to the Assembly in general the government’s policy on the light rail?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. This project was one of the key election commitments of the government and a goal that we share in common with our colleague Mr Rattenbury and the policy announced by the Greens. It is interesting, of course, that it stands in contrast to the policies not advanced by those opposite, which did not appear to advance any serious plan for mass rapid transit for our city.

The development of the capital metro project is a transformative project for our city. It is going to deliver not just better transport connections for people who live along the corridor from Gungahlin, the inner north, to the city but is also going to change the way the city develops. It is going to provide opportunities for greater intensification of residential development along the corridor. It is going to drive significant returns in revenue for the government because of the increased development potential that is going to be facilitated by that investment and it is going to be the beginning of a network which drives improved transport connections across the city.

This is a very big project for the government. It is going to take a lot of work. But the response from the community, the response from industry, the response from other stakeholders has been very positive. Right now the government is working in a very detailed way through the next steps that need to be taken to deliver this project.

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