Page 4251 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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actually now being relocated to Sydney. What this example shows is that not every tramway is a success. Simply building light rail does not guarantee patronage, nor the transformation which this government is over-promising.

The opposition will not be supporting this motion. It is not possible to do so based on the limited information available. The government is being irresponsible with other people’s money in committing to such a huge expenditure before appropriate research and assessments have been carried out.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.29): It is, of course, interesting that, having heard Mr Hanson’s speech, he did not deliver it with much gusto or commitment. I have the impression that the speech came out of Mr Coe’s office and he had been issued with the line, when it came to issues around light rail, by his shadow minister. But this motion is a timely one, and it is of critical importance to the future development of our city. The capital metro project will have a strong and positive influence over the manner of that development, and over where much of it occurs. It is an important part of the government’s vision for our city.

We have to understand how good public transport integrates with effective land use planning. The territory’s planning strategy, as outlined in the ACT planning strategy released last year, highlights further consolidation of residential uses close to centres and along public transport corridors. We saw yesterday the ABS release its data on the growth that is projected to occur in our city over the next 50 years or so. We know that the growth over the next 10 to 15 years is going to be equally significant—over 400,000 residents in Canberra in the next 10 years.

What we also know is that the fastest growing areas of our city are those along the Gungahlin to city corridor. Gungahlin itself continues to be the fastest growing part of our city and it will remain the case for the next 10 to 15 years. Growth along the corridor in the inner north of Canberra is also expected to continue to significantly increase. These will be the fastest growing areas of our city, and that growth means more people living in the corridor.

It also means more jobs in the corridor. The projections from the ACT government’s demographers indicate significant growth in the number of jobs in the corridor—approximately 30,000 more jobs in the corridor over the next 10 to 20 years. That means a lot more journeys to work. That means a lot more people having to commute between point A and point B either as part of their journey to or from home or other journeys that they undertake during the day. So what we know is that there will be significant growth in our city and significant growth in the corridor in terms of people living there and working there.

The question is: are buses going to cut it? Is business as usual going to cut it along that corridor? We already know that Northbourne Avenue is the most congested corridor in the city. It is at capacity now. So we need to take some decisions on the city, not thinking about the next five years but thinking about the next 25, 30 or 35 years, because that is what this investment is about.

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