Page 717 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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criticised the decision of the Western Australian government to cancel the light rail project in the Perth CBD. People like Professor Newman, world-leading academics recognised for their expertise in the capacity of rail to transform the development of cities and communities, have put a very clear case about why the Western Australian government should continue with the development of the light rail project there in the Perth CBD.

It is also worth highlighting that in other jurisdictions around the country ongoing consideration is being given to the expansion and development of light rail networks. In the New South Wales government, my counterpart, Gladys Berejiklian, has indicated her support for the development of light rail in Newcastle. Of course, the New South Wales Liberal government is also developing light rail projects in the Sydney CBD. The new Queensland Labor government has indicated its support for consideration of possible expansion of the Gold Coast light rail project. So, clearly, there is strong momentum across Australia to develop and expand light rail projects, including in Liberal-controlled states.

Whatever the issues are in Western Australia, they are a matter for the Western Australian people and the Western Australian parliament. What we see across the country is strong levels of support to continue to develop and expand light rail projects. That is because governments are cottoning on to the transformative benefits of light rail, increasing land use density and increasing economic opportunity. Right here in Canberra, we know that our project will deliver 3½ thousand jobs to Canberrans and over a billion dollars worth of benefits to the ACT economy.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, what other modes of transport had you considered for rapid transit along Northbourne Avenue and other corridors prior to committing to light rail?

MR CORBELL: Mr Coe knows the answer to that. I have answered that question a million times. I refer him to the URS report that looked at the different benefits, which was commissioned by the government back in 2012, and which concluded that overall light rail delivers the best outcome for Canberra. So that was the conclusion of that report. Mr Coe knows the answers to all of these questions because I have answered them a million times before.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, how much regard did you give to the ACT government’s budgetary position when you decided to proceed with light rail?

MR CORBELL: Significant regard, and significant regard, too, to the significant benefit that light rail will bring to our city’s economy, economic opportunity and jobs for Canberrans. The Liberal Party is opposing a project that is going to deliver over 3½ thousand jobs to the ACT economy at a time when we know there is going to be a significant downturn in the civil construction sector here in the ACT. This project will support and put dollars in the pockets of form workers and concreters, builders and

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