Page 919 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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

What if you actually want a proper inquiry, where people might be able to put submissions in, where we might want to hear from the experts, where we might want to hear from the members in the community who are paying the rates, who are going to pay for this tram? Do not think that it is Mr Corbell or Mr Rattenbury paying for it. The ACT ratepayers are going to pay for this—and the ACT ratepayers’ children and grandchildren. This is a project and this is just phase 1.

If you extrapolate the cost for this, we are talking about billions and billions of dollars that the government are signing up to. They have said that they are going to roll this out across Canberra. They have committed us to billions of dollars of expenditure. A reasonable request from Mr Coe that there be an inquiry to have a look into this is rejected. Why? Because this government is scared of the scrutiny. And well they should be.

Madam Deputy Speaker, as you know, people in Belconnen do not like this, do they? I know that you conduct mobile offices, Madam Deputy Speaker. You have people coming up to you. I would love to hear many of those conversations about light rail. I have spoken to people who have spoken to you who have told me, “We have expressed dismay at this project to Madam Deputy Speaker.”

Mr Gentleman interjecting—

MR HANSON: I am sure Mr Gentleman now interjects because he knows that this stinks down in Tuggeranong.

Mr Gentleman: I was just talking to my colleague.

MR HANSON: He is talking loudly to Ms Berry, who comes from Belconnen as well. They are locked into the tram. We always know that Mr Gentleman and Ms Berry will do what Mr Corbell asks of them. I think we know that that is the way that they operate in this cabinet.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that this tram is not viable. Mr Rattenbury said, “Let us look at the Gold Coast and the projections there; it has exceeded projections.” It depends which figures you use, doesn’t it, Madam Deputy Speaker? The original projection put forward by the Labor Party, when they put forward the Gold Coast tram, was 50,000. That was revised down to 17,000. There are more than 17,000 people using it, but the reality is that the usage is significantly less than the original 50,000 estimate. Even if it was close to that, the point I would make is about the government’s own projections, comparative to 50,000, with—what is it?—3,500 in peak hour or something like that. It might stack up on the Gold Coast. I do not think it was a wise investment up there, but 50,000 compared to 3,500 is a reasonable contrast.

We will not rest, Madam Deputy Speaker. We will continue to look for every mechanism here in the community to shine a light on this project, which simply does not stack up. The government’s decision to prevent what I think is a quite reasonable level of scrutiny of what is Canberra’s biggest ever infrastructure plan is arrogant. It is causing more division in our community. The number of people who are against this

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