Page 2179 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015

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There are so many issues with this capital metro project. It seems that the government is absolutely determined at all cost, whether it be financial cost, social cost or community cost, to ram this project through the Assembly and to do so before the people of Canberra have had an opportunity to have their say.

The most prudent course of action right now, the responsible course of action, would be for the government to put this project on hold and to allow the people of Canberra to definitively have their say on this project at the October 2016 election. However, as we all very well know, there are not enough people opposite who have the courage to say that their communities do not want this project. There must be members opposite who are hearing it loud and clear from their constituents. They must be hearing from their communities and from their electorates that light rail should not be rammed through before they have had their say. And that is exactly what this government is going to be doing. That is why the opposition will be doing all we can at every forum to try and reveal the true cost of this project and the many flaws of this project, and why there is a real imperative to not sign contracts before the October 2016 election.

I am pleased that we were able to have a public hearing. However, I still do not feel that the people of Canberra have had an opportunity to present their views by way of a public hearing at the Legislative Assembly. The committee made no recommendation, but I understand that the Minister for Planning will be tabling the variation later today.

The committee would like to extend its thanks to the minister and the directorate officials who provided information and evidence to the inquiry. Once again I would like to thank Mr Hamish Finlay for his professionalism as secretary of the committee, and also Lydia Chung and Panduka Senanayake for their administrative support to the inquiry.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Ministerial delegations to China and Singapore

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (10.33): I would like to report to the Assembly on two ministerial delegations that I led this year—to Beijing, China, from 12 to 14 April, and to Singapore and China, from 22 to 24 June. As is clear, these missions were very short but they were focused and highly successful delegations.

The three primary objectives of the April mission to Beijing were to progress the Canberra-Beijing sister city relationship; to encourage cultural, education, business and tourism links between Canberra, Beijing and China through the support of the ACT government for the Qing: Life in China 1644-1911 exhibition to be exclusively held at the National Library of Australia here in Canberra next year; and to encourage and grow the exchange of international students through events and meetings at Peking University and Renmin University, two of Beijing’s premier educational institutions, in conjunction with their partner universities in Canberra, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

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