Page 1692 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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I remind Mr Corbell of what he said in a committee meeting last year:

But in general terms, the key decision point for government at this time is consideration of the final business case, which will go to the government in the next one to two months. Following the government’s consideration and decision on that final business case, we will be in a position to indicate, firstly, whether or not we are proceeding with the project and, if we are, what steps will then be taken.

That does not seem like a government with a mandate from 2012. That seems like a government that was waiting on a business case before they decided whether to do it or not. It is not a government with a mandate and, as I have said time and again and will continue to say, the Canberra Liberals, the opposition, will do everything we can to stop this project going ahead.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (12.18): I thank Ms Fitzharris for bringing this important motion before the Assembly today. We heard from Ms Fitzharris the broader context in which the government’s planning for this important project is proceeding. Of course, it is the circumstance that Mr Coe and the Liberal Party continue to ignore in all of this debate. We are a growing city. By the middle of this century we will have an extra 220,000 residents. That is effectively a one-third increase on the number of residents we have today. Where are those people going to live?

We know what the land supply situation is. We know that greenfields land supply is extremely limited. There is only about 17 years worth of yield left. This means so many more of the people who live in our city in the next 35 years will need to live in established urban areas. And as Ms Fitzharris properly pointed out, they will live in high-density development and they will expect governments to have had the foresight to invest in the rapid transit solutions they need to move from point A to point B. We know that, as our city grows, relying on the car or, dare I say, relying on the Audi, is not going to cut it. And that is why this project is so important.

I am very pleased that Ms Fitzharris has brought forward and highlighted the recent threats made by the Canberra Liberals—and we heard this obfuscation from Mr Coe that “that was not us; that was the administrative wing of the party.” I do not think so; it was a decision made in the party room, I am sure—to tear up a signed and commenced light rail construction and operation contract. Such a decision is going to risk the thousands of jobs that will be delivered by this project—3½ thousand during the delivery stage alone. It is going to negatively impact on the local economy.

Where do the Liberals think these jobs are going to come from? They are local jobs. They are electrical jobs. They are construction jobs. They are formwork jobs. They are concreting jobs. They are landscaping jobs. They are metalworking jobs. That is where those jobs are, and those jobs are so important for the future of our city right now, when we continue to see the impact of the federal Liberal government’s cuts to and restrictions on public sector expenditure in the commonwealth.

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