Page 54 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 10 February 2015

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MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her supplementary. The government is very committed to an ongoing conversation with the Canberra community about the detail of this project. This is a big project for our city. It is controversial and that is not surprising for a light rail project, particularly a new rail infrastructure project, coming into a city. That was the experience of Adelaide and that was the experience of the Gold Coast as well. What we know is that we must maintain engagement with the Canberra community.

The government undertook an early design consultation last year, looking at issues such as stop location and integration into the Northbourne Avenue and Flemington Road corridors. Right now we are embarking upon our second round of consultation, which is asking Canberrans to have their say on some of the more detailed urban design elements that need to be resolved before we proceed to the request for proposal stage. In particular, we are asking Canberrans for their views on landscape design along the corridor, on station and stop design along the corridor, and how we integrate pedestrian and cycling facilities along the corridor.

These are really important conversations. We need to have them now and we need to reach out to as many people as possible in having them. That is why the capital metro project team has been travelling around the city over the past couple of weeks. We have been visiting locations such as Dickson, Watson, Cooleman Court and Kingston foreshore. We had a fantastic response at the Australia Day in the park celebrations. Capital metro will be present at the Multicultural Festival in the coming week. So there will be some further opportunities for people to have their say on these detailed design issues. I have been pleased to be part of some of those, and it has been great to have the conversations with residents about this project. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what will the short list of consortia be asked to bid on at the request for proposal stage?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. Clearly, the government has committed unequivocally to the development of stage 1, from Hibberson Street in Gungahlin through to the Alinga Street stop in the city. That corridor and that length of track is the project the government has unequivocally committed to at this time.

I am very pleased, though, to say that it is also the case that the government has decided that there is significant value in further exploring extensions to stage 1 that include a connection from Alinga Street through to Russell. This just over three-kilometre length of track would provide us with the capacity for four or five additional stations and, importantly, connect up the 8,000 public servants that are located along the Constitution Avenue and Russell defence headquarters corridor and connect them back into the city centre.

From my discussions with representatives of traders in the city centre, we know how much they are struggling right now with trade in the Civic centre. The feedback I have had to date has been very encouraging. They welcome the fact that the government is

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