Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 February 2015) . . Page.. 456 ..

MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.34): I thank Ms Fitzharris for giving me an opportunity to once again lodge my concern about the misplaced priorities of the ACT Labor-Greens government. In fact, I never cease to be amazed by the fact that all the Labor members opposite are so desperate to do the bidding of Mr Rattenbury. I never cease to be amazed by the fact that the Labor Party have been willing to commit to an $800 million project, and to do so willingly on the back of a demand by a Green. Those opposite have sold out their principles and convictions, and believe their own spin about the indulgent and unjustified project.

As I have said before in the Assembly, I have the utmost respect for the public servants who are working on instructions from cabinet. Page 13 of the full business case for light rail tells the story. It says:

Given the background to this project, including analysis … performed and decisions already made by Government, this Full Business Case considers the business case for a 12km light rail route from the City to Gungahlin. It does not extend to an analysis of alternative transportation means or routes.

In other words, the experts in Capital Metro and their consultants have been sidelined. They did not get a say on whether a tram is required and they did not get a say on the route.

I believe that is an insult to the board of Capital Metro, an insult to the executive director and an insult to all the staff at the Capital Metro Agency. I have no doubt that there are people in the agency and elsewhere in government, including ACTION buses, who are more than capable of planning for our public transport needs in the future. However, the government has not done that. The government has not empowered these people. Minister Corbell, Minister Rattenbury and Chief Minister Barr backed themselves to the tune of $783 million to know what is the best mode and what is the best route. This is no way to do transport policy and it is no way to do public policy.

Regarding paragraph (d) of the motion, we do not need light rail as a catalyst for urban renewal. The land could be developed independent of light rail. All it requires is for the government to make the land available. We have seen this with developments right down the corridor, such as Space and Space 2, Axis apartments, IQ apartments, the Haig apartments, and many other buildings. In fact, thousands of dwellings have come online up and down Northbourne Avenue without light rail.

The centre of Canberra is, like in any other city, a desirable place to live. It is convenient, primarily because it is so close to essential services. City living also provides for a good quality of life, as restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms, supermarkets and shopping centres are all within walking distance. Fortunately, here in Canberra we also have Lake Burley Griffin, which is just across the road from the city. So, to put it bluntly, living on Northbourne Avenue and in the city does provide a good quality of life as it stands at present.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video