Page 1713 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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In cities around the world evidence shows that improved public transport networks increase the amount of exercise in which the community is able to partake on a day-to-day basis. Public transport investment promotes the participation of the community in active travel by providing the connections which enable people to walk or cycle short distances before taking motorised transport. This provides for a healthier population and removes distance barriers to cycling and walking during commutes. This in turn reduces the cost to the health system and also promotes wellbeing and social inclusion among the community.

There is strong evidence from multiple cities around the world in recent years showing that construction of high density housing along transport corridors has a direct, positive impact on property values in those areas. Various private sector developer and investor publications have directly linked the new Gold Coast light rail to a rise in property value along its route.

The Urban Developer is a highly read online publication in Australia providing information to property investors, developers and other interested parties. In July last year the publication released an article which stated there had already been an upsurge in development proposals and plans for development along the route of the Gold Coast light rail, and that the convenience factor would be a significant value-add and provide extra incentive for investors.

In Dublin in 2004, properties along the newly constructed tramline had seen an increase of 15 per cent in value over the two years following the line’s installation, according to a report from the property agency Douglas Newman Good which was released in 2005. This same uplift has been seen in other cities around the world, from Edinburgh to Portland to Vancouver. In the city of Bordeaux in southern France the construction of a new line of their tramway in 2010 saw increases of 15 to 20 per cent in property value before construction was even completed.

This is just one facet of the economic uplift that will be seen through the integration of this infrastructure into the city’s transport network. This investment will do marvellous things for our city.

It is this foresight that only we, the government, have. This is why we took light rail to the last election as a key policy, because we recognise, like they have in major cities around the world, the opportunity for economic growth it brings to Canberra. Sadly, creating opportunity and driving economic growth are clearly not important to the opposition.

Investment in integrated transport networks provides many positive outcomes for cities and, indeed, helps to deliver key government policies. The development of this network works towards delivering on government policies, including transport for Canberra, the ACT planning strategy, the ACT climate change strategy and the healthy weight action plan.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the

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