Page 2276 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013
deliver vital infrastructure on time and within budget. And this is a government that has not been honest with Canberrans about projected jobs and service cuts. I commend the motion to the house.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (12.19): I thank Mr Smyth for bringing on the second motion today debating the government’s excellent budget. The budget that I handed down yesterday has a plan and a vision for the city of Canberra. It starts the journey to build and create capacity to undertake transformational projects within the city—projects like the University of Canberra hospital, the city-to-the-lake project and the capital metro project. Critically, this budget funds important once-in-a-generation social reforms such as DisabilityCare Australia and the equally important Gonski education reforms.
I am pleased to say that it further progresses tax reform. I would especially like to spend some time this morning on highlighting the infrastructure program and what these projects will mean for Canberra. The infrastructure program is $1.27 billion over the next four years. In the coming year, 2013-14, it is a $700 million program. It is the single largest program, in one physical year, in the history of self-government. What we are seeking to do in the outyears is to create the capacity to invest in these large infrastructure projects that will be transformative for our city. They are essential for our long-term economic prosperity.
Our city is renowned as one of the world’s great planned cities. It certainly has evolved in its first century to develop a unique identity with wonderful parks, gardens and tree-lined streets. However, our city is more than this. As it matures, it certainly can become one of the great cities in the world, an exemplar of a progressive, inclusive and vibrant living city. Canberra is poised for a new phase of development that will see it become more diverse and urban and less of a drive-through city.
City to the lake and capital metro will completely change the way people engage with the city centre. They will enhance the experience of being in the city centre by making it more accessible, with great public spaces and facilities. They will make it more attractive to residents and visitors, a place where people will happily stay longer. It will be more active. It will be safer. It will be accessible with a diverse range of activities day and night.
City to the lake and capital metro complement each other. When implemented in tandem, they will profoundly transform and strengthen the centre of our city. By doing this, they will deliver environmental, social and economic benefits right across our city. These projects unlock considerable economic value, creating new urban blocks on land in our CBD, land that is in public ownership that is either currently surface car parks or over-scaled road reserves. Experiences from other cities that have invested in light rail is that economic activity is significantly boosted. We need to ensure that our city centre is an attractive anchor for the capital metro project and that value is captured from this increased economic activity.
1.2 million square metres of diverse mixed use development and in excess of 10,000 new residents can be accommodated in the most accessible locations in Canberra