Page 4266 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Resume your seat. Stop the clock, please.

Mr Hanson: I have point of order. I wonder whether the minister’s comments, in a debate about light rail, are necessarily relevant. She is sort of wandering off into a debate about Gonski. I would ask her to be relevant to the debate.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your point of order is on relevance. Thank you, Mr Hanson. Ms Burch, do remain relevant for the next one and a half minutes.

MS BURCH: I will remain relevant. Mr Hanson brought in lots of other conversations and projects of this government. I only thought it was fitting to say that if you decide that criticism is on the money, then you must be backing the policy backflip of the Gonski reforms.

Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Resume your seat, minister.

Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker, you ruled on the point of order. I do not think this is a matter for debate. I would ask that the member be relevant to the debate and not continue with this argument.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. If you are going to say more, I would ask you to remain relevant, minister.

MS BURCH: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will close. I thank Mr Hanson for drawing attention to his concerns over my statements on that policy backflip. On light rail, by over a decade of history, the Canberra Liberals have been committed to light rail, have been committed to borrowings, indeed, for major projects to build this great city. It is truly a level of irony and disbelief that they now, when those things are being delivered for this city, are saying that this is not the way to go to grow our city. I think it shows the limited vision of those opposite.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (11.21): I wish to speak in favour of Mr Gentleman’s motion today. I would like to talk about the benefits that the light rail network capital metro will have on our community and our economy. As we all know, capital metro will stimulate Canberra’s economy. It will help to diversify its base by encouraging business investment and attracting and retaining people through the jobs that will be created to build the network and to support the network after it is constructed.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this is an interesting project to talk about in the electorate, especially in and around Ginninderra. It really brings out the diversity of views and opinions of the residents in our community. The conversations that I have had with residents in Kippax or at Charnwood shops or when I am visiting voters have been very insightful. I have to say this up-front: there is a clear generational difference of opinion when it comes to this project.

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