Page 938 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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MS FITZHARRIS: Chief Minister, how has the capital metro project been received by the community?

MR BARR: There is majority support for the project—three sets of research comprehensively outlining the support for this project. There are some who are opposed, including the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, who intends to campaign in Gungahlin, it would appear, and be the only candidate there saying, “No, you don’t deserve better transport. You deserve to spend an hour in transit every day to get to work.”

I want to take the opportunity today to mention two Canberrans, one new and one longstanding, and what they have had to say about light rail. Kirk Coningham, the new Executive Director of the Master Builders Association, said on ABC Radio yesterday that light rail is:

… the start of something big, rather than the end, and I think it’s like the skeleton around which a city-state can grow. I’ve just come from Sydney, and you know, I cross the Harbour Bridge all the time. That would never have been built if the naysayers—

at that time—

had their way.

He went on to say, Madam Speaker, that light rail was a vision for the future.

The business community wants this to happen. There is one other Canberra resident who said:

Canberra was originally designed for light rail. The claims in favour are very strong.

This eminent Canberran goes on to point out that light rail lines carry about four times as many people as a road and that many comparable cities have run light rail projects of a similar size. This eminent Canberran pointed out the best way to proceed was through a PPP.

Madam Speaker, I could not agree more with all of these points. This Canberran was, indeed, your good self. You said that when you were allowed to speak the truth. Now you are handcuffed to those opposite. (Time expired.)

Health—mental health

MS LAWDER: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health, concerning criticism by Alzheimer’s Australia ACT of Canberra hospitals. Minister, the peak body for Alzheimer’s in the ACT has criticised Canberra hospitals for failing to provide designated dementia specialists, despite the number of diagnosed cases climbing close to 5,000. Alzheimer’s Australia ACT chief executive Jane Allen described the condition as a developing “tsunami” and called for across the board

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