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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1717 ..

We cannot just look at the BCRs of projects. If we were to make a list of projects ranked in order of priority by their BCR number, and then only build them in order, we would end up with a fairly terrible outcome for this city, because one does need to look at broader agendas and at what is most beneficial for the city overall in light of where the city is going, population growth and making sure that we actually plan for the future of this city and are not just thinking about the next 12 months or the next couple of years.

I thank Ms Fitzharris for bringing this motion forward today. Once again it does provide some opportunity. I know we will come to Mr Coe’s motion later in the day, and I look forward to discussing the points that he has raised there as well.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (3.40), in reply: I would like to thank my colleagues for speaking to this motion. I thank Mr Corbell, Mr Gentleman and Mr Rattenbury for support and again Mr Coe for the opportunity to debate the merits of this project—of course, which he did not. It reiterates for us on the government benches that there is no plan from the Canberra Liberals on what to do about our future, on what to do about our sustainable transport future. There is simply a plan to rip up a contract and cost jobs and millions of dollars to the ACT community.

I will just recap some of the arguments that were put forward. Mr Coe is correct that this is the biggest infrastructure project that the territory will undertake. But it is certainly by no means the only infrastructure project. For example, there is currently under construction the $288 million project to upgrade Majura Parkway. There is the nearly $2 billion health infrastructure project that will roll out over the course of the next few years. And in this financial year alone the ACT government is investing $735 million in capital infrastructure—and a total of $2.5 billion over the next year. Those opposite seem only capable of focusing on one project at a time.

I certainly do agree with Mr Coe that this is worth debating. It is a topic most worthy of debate. But debate usually involves an informed view from both sides. Unfortunately, this continues to be lacking.

Mr Coe also has, as Mr Corbell and Mr Rattenbury noted, a rather disturbing view of independent analysis, ignoring some and accepting others. Certainly he is ignoring the views of the globally respected firm EY in their assessment, their business case, but they are also ignoring the view of Professor Derek Scrafton from the University of South Australia, with 50 years experience in the public transportation field. He provided independent advice on the appropriateness of the methodology in the capital metro business case. He found that the business case was sound and used the appropriate methodology.

He also calls into question Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. They are no marginal group. They are a “public policy partnership between Australia’s federal and state governments, and the private sector”. They “operate as a think tank on infrastructure market reform opportunities; as a source of data on the Australian market; and as a network and meeting place for senior practitioners from across the national and global infrastructure markets”. They are a “not for profit, non-government organisation” whose membership is “deliberately balanced between central and line agencies across the Australian and state governments, and the private sector”.

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