Page 966 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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Let us look at the reforms that are going on. Let us see what the value is to all students, but particularly to the people of the ACT. And let us see how we use that to leverage into an economy that can survive into the future. Let us face it: we still have an ACT economy that is in large part based on land and land development; we have an ACT budget that is land based and development based. What if you need to balance the budget? You sell another block of land; you undercut the block of land that you sold a couple of days, a couple of weeks or a couple of months before. You keep putting land in because you need to look good and balance your budget.

That is instead of saying, “How do we leverage off what is coming out of the ANU, UC, ADFA, the Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt University, the CSIRO and the CIT, and build the image that Canberra is a place of education?” You only have to add to that mix the Academy of Interactive Entertainment to show that the private sector has a large role to play here as well, if we let it in. We need long-term planning. We have to make sure that we allocate the resources that are required. We have to make sure that the land use is appropriate.

As I brought to this place some weeks ago, we have to make sure that we have got the connections right. Even the ministers, it appeared, did not know that there was a plan to upgrade Clunies Ross Street, effectively putting a four-lane wall between ANU and the CSIRO. I have spoken to a large number of people about this. The combination of the research that will be conducted at the Black Mountain facility for the CSIRO plus the work done at the ANU will probably give us the largest concentration of research activity anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. That is something we should be proud of, but we have to get it right. Putting a road through the middle of that network will not lead to the connectivity that leads to the breakthroughs that we need to—

Mr Barr: So we should put light rail there, then, should we?

MR SMYTH: Are we going to put light rail there as well? There will be four lanes of light rail, the Chief Minister interjects. That is the point. You do not get it. What there should be is a very small road or perhaps a road underground. Options should be looked at and discussed so that you can actually use that space to connect the students on one side with the research on the other and deliver the outcomes this city deserves. (Time expired.)

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (4.20): I rise very briefly to refer to an article—

Mr Smyth: That would be good.

MS BURCH: Mr Smyth, as always, is rude and interjects, but that is what we expect from Mr Smyth, because that is just how he plays.

Mr Doszpot: Look who is talking. Bloody hell!

MS BURCH: Mr Assistant Speaker, I think there was language used by Mr Doszpot that is absolutely unparliamentary.

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