Page 2934 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013
consumption and provide a positive outcome for these households, one which also benefits the territory as a whole as we work towards reducing our impact on the environment. This budget funds the development of key policy frameworks to guide Canberra’s transition to being a carbon neutral city, with sustainable transport and affordability the focus. I commend the expenditure to the Assembly.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.12—Capital Metro Agency—$3,000,000 (net cost of outputs) and $5,000,000 (capital injection), totalling $8,000,000.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (8.42): I have a sense of deja vu about this discussion. I do not think it will be the last time that we in this place will be discussing the merits of capital metro or, perhaps more so, the way in which the ACT government have gone about their commitment to spending $614 million of taxpayers’ money on a project that has rapidly been reverse engineered. The reason I say that is, of course, because the government decided to go ahead with light rail well before they had done the proper research, done the proper studies, done the due diligence that you should be doing before you commit to $614 million of taxpayers’ money.
Anybody who is actually engaged in territory politics—I admit there probably are not too many in Canberra—would know that this is, in fact, a political decision. Only now is the ACT government trying to almost buy opinion as to why light rail is the best alternative. We on this side of the chamber reserve the right and reserve the opportunity to support the construction of light rail if we see the evidence. But the fact is that we have not seen the evidence to support the construction of light rail. We have not seen the evidence.
It is all very well for Minister Corbell to talk about light rail and to talk about why he is so wise. But if he is indeed so wise, if he is indeed this prophet of all things transport in the territory like he pretends to be, it makes you wonder why he is going ahead with light rail when the dollar return is $2.34, but the bus rapid transport return is $4.78. By his own report, $2.34 for light rail; $4.78 for bus rapid transit. One has a spend of about $280 million; one has a spend of $614 million. It will be interesting to see whether, in fact, the ACT government has used the same methodology that the Labor government in Queensland used when they were trying to promote Q-Link up at the Gold Coast.
Of course, it was the Labor government up in Queensland which said that light rail on the Gold Coast was going to carry 45,000 passengers a day; 45,000. Just a fortnight ago the Liberal government in Queensland, amongst many other discoveries in the books in Queensland, actually found out that, no, it will not be 45,000. It will be 17,000. So you would think that the economies would somewhat change when you expect to have 45,000 on one day, but the truth is more like 17,000.
But then you look here in the ACT at what the ACT Labor government, as part of their commitment with the Greens, are proposing. It is a patronage of 4,500 people per peak. Yet currently we have got about 3,000 people using the Northbourne corridor.