Page 3086 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013
allows more journeys by walking, cycling and public transport. It means realising the planning strategy objectives that we all say we support: more people living close to the city centre, more people living close to transport corridors, more people living close to town centres, more people living close to group centres. If that is what we want to achieve, we have to make the infrastructure decisions that drive those outcomes. This significant uplift in development potential also has economic benefit. It brings jobs: jobs in construction, jobs in the service and supply industries, and jobs in maintenance, cleaning and municipal services—jobs in a whole range of sectors.
Yet the Liberals still say that bus rapid transit is better and that we have spent too much money on studies. We have heard Mr Coe make this claim again and again over the past few weeks—“wasting all this money on studies”. Why should we believe them? In 2008 they issued an election policy statement. What was it called? It was called Getting light rail on track. It contained some very bold and sweeping statements like “Time to take light rail seriously”. After all their criticism of the government for apparently wasting money on studies, what was the Liberals’ proposal? Their proposal was to spend $8 million on studies. They wanted studies on engineering, integration of bus and light rail connections, planning, zoning and patronage. They criticised the government for doing these studies, for investing in this work, for doing this analysis, but they were going to do exactly the same thing. They were going to do exactly the same thing. When the Liberals now say the government has spent too much on studies, why should we believe them when they proposed a multimillion dollar investigation less than four years ago?
In this budget the government establishes the Capital Metro Agency to drive the realisation of this project. Developing a big infrastructure project is a significant undertaking; it requires robust governance, detailed investigation, due diligence and a team of committed and experienced professionals to make it happen. Labor is making that investment. It will continue to make that investment to deliver a project that has the long-term future—not the short-term politics, but the long-term future—of our city and its citizens front and centre.
Canberrans deserve infrastructure investments that will meet their growing needs for reliable and convenient rapid transit, for sustainable transport and for infrastructure investment which will shape our urban form and the way our city grows consistent with the strategic plans we have laid out for a more sustainable and equitable future. Capital metro is a critical infrastructure project that will meet the aspirations Canberrans have for the future of their city. And it is only this Labor government that has the imagination and determination to realise this objective.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Coe, do you want to take your second 10 minutes?
MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.07): Yes, please, Madam Deputy Speaker. We have heard some pretty fanciful statements from the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development. In fact, it has probably gone further than being fanciful statements. In actual fact, it really has been amateur hour here in the Assembly this morning. If it were not for spending $614 million of taxpayers’ money, it would be funny. But the fact is that Minister Corbell’s ideological crusade, perhaps not even