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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 193 ..

The government has also recognised the need to generate employment in Gungahlin, as demonstrated by our commitment to build the new ACT government office building. On completion, this project will see approximately 600 additional people in the town centre every working day. That is great news for supporting the daytime trade of retailers in the Gungahlin town centre.

We need to diversify and support our economy. We need to improve access. We need to improve public transport. We need a more sustainable pattern of urban development. The type of infrastructure investment the ACT government is making highlights our commitment to achieving these outcomes. Capital metro highlights the capacity to transform the urban form of development in our city, the pattern of settlement, and to provide housing choice and accessibility and lays the foundation for a better public transport system across the city. I urge members to support Ms Fitzharris’s motion.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.43): It is a pleasure to speak about a subject in which I have had a keen personal interest for many years. The construction, development and regeneration of Gungahlin is an issue which has always been of interest to the Assembly. Of course, much of what the member states in her motion are statements which we the opposition support. However, this motion is intended to be a wedge, albeit a poor one, about binding Gungahlin with the government’s flawed light rail project.

I do not believe Gungahlin will be well served by the capital metro project. For decades Gungahlin has needed transport infrastructure and the government has been dragged kicking and screaming with no better example than the single-lane GDE, which was perhaps even implicitly mentioned in Ms Fitzharris’s maiden speech yesterday. For years Gungahlin residents suffered thousands of hours of lost productivity due to the fact that the government refused to build the road infrastructure required. It was only when the Canberra Liberals announced the duplication of the road during the 2008 election campaign that the Labor government reacted and hastily committed to it as well. The GDE will always be an iconic reminder of this government’s neglect of the people of Gungahlin.

The government will keep talking about light rail as being a boon for Canberra and especially Gungahlin. We strongly disagree. How many services, how much infrastructure and how much time will be lost because of this government’s blind obsession with the Rattenbury-Corbell tram?

Paragraph (3)(a) of the motion states that the government will engage with the community. Well, they have not to date. They did not engage prior to light rail. They did not engage prior to the GDE. They did not engage prior to the multitude of other infrastructure mismanagement. Yet somehow we are expected to believe they are going to start listening and genuinely engage with the community.

Capital metro is not the silver bullet for Gungahlin the government likes to think it is. Instead, the government should be looking to make cheaper and simpler improvements to the ACTION bus network from Gungahlin to the city. This will have

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