Page 1984 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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and achieve good urban uplift and densification. We know that it creates more usable, accessible precincts, not just a place for cars to drive and park. There was a great article by Professor Peter Newman, the distinguished Australian transport academic, emphasising the importance of light rail in the knowledge economy, where we are competing with other cities to excel.

A Canberra-wide light rail network will offer a superior integrated public transport service for Canberrans. It is a proven way of getting people out of their cars and into public transport. It provides an attractive, comfortable, easily accessible public transport option. And because it is apart from the general traffic, it improves journeys for all commuters, including those who continue to need to use their cars.

The commonwealth government has recognised the productive nature of this infrastructure. Through its asset recycling scheme, it is making a $60 million contribution to capital metro. It only signs off on these payments when it knows that its contribution is going towards productive infrastructure, infrastructure that improves the productivity of the local economy. Through this partnership agreement, the government will be selling surplus assets and investing the proceeds in light rail infrastructure.

We are the first jurisdiction to sign up. Through this, we will be selling our old, out-of-date public housing precincts and some government commercial property assets. This will not only see a massive injection into light rail but also allow for significant renewal of our public housing stock, as Ms Berry outlined earlier; the transformation of some of the most tired areas of Canberra; and the building of new and better housing for vulnerable Canberrans. Through this agreement, in party with the commonwealth, we will be transforming the Northbourne Avenue precinct, Canberra’s front door. We need a vibrant and active corridor along this key transport corridor and this key urban area for our city.

This urban renewal has the capacity to change our city for the better. A transformation of the Bega, Allawah and Currong flats in the city centre, along with public housing in Red Hill and Griffith, will see these sites transformed into modern, sustainable precincts with high quality public realm, great design outcomes and a mix of public and private housing.

The asset recycling initiative will bring new investment into our city. It will bring jobs. Think about how many jobs there are in the construction of over 1,200 new homes for public housing tenants, as well as the jobs associated with light rail directly. This is part of this Labor government’s agenda for our city—transforming our city for the new century; making sure we have high quality public transport; and making sure we have homes fit for people into the next century, homes which are affordable, which are livable, which are sustainable, and which are integrated in an inclusive way with the broader community.

I commend the amendment to the Assembly.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.17): I want to refresh the memory of some of those who were not here at the time by saying that the previous Liberal government had a

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