Page 2384 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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people in the city, Mr Coe forgets or his own myopic approach to transport and planning fails to address congestion or growth in Canberra. It is this approach that will condemn the Canberra community to an endless future of disruption.

The government, supported by the Greens, has a quality solution with its light rail project. It is a project for now and a project for the future. Under Mr Coe’s approach—the oppose everything approach—what will happen to the already congested Northbourne Avenue? Imagine the irritation and inconvenience felt by the thousands of commuters in Mr Coe’s dystopian future. They will struggle to get through the Northbourne Avenue gridlock. Where are we going to put the thousands of extra people and thousands of extra cars in the future as Canberra’s population grows and the number of cars on the road increases? “Why didn’t the government take any action 10 years ago,” they will ask. “Sorry,” the Canberra Liberals will say, “we decided no light rail was our campaign slogan back in 2016.”

On this note, there is some irony to be found in the points of Mr Coe’s motion. They talk about the potential loss of parking convenience.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR RATTENBURY: The best way to remove convenience for the travelling public is to take no action on public transport, especially for people travelling to Civic. Rather than labour this point, I will instead offer the Assembly an update on some quality research that was recently undertaken by the Canberra Urban and Regional Futures group. In June this year they released their working paper entitled Light Rail Transit and Residential City in Mid-size Cities. It is a fascinating read and I recommend it to all members. It is fascinating in particular because it focuses on light rail in cities that are comparative to Canberra. It looks closely at the cities of Adelaide, Edmonton, Bergen and Freiburg, and each of these cities can be paralleled to Canberra in different ways.

One of its interesting findings is the way light rail has helped to create denser transport corridors in these cities. We hear people say that Canberra is not dense enough so we should not build light rail. But this report shows that light rail plays a valuable role in creating density. The report presents some key lessons for Canberra, which I will be utilising through my own role in this government. It says, for example, that a precinct strategy is necessary to ensure the best outcome in the light rail corridor. Similarly, adopting transit-oriented development guidelines is an important factor.

Interestingly, the success of light rail has helped change community attitudes towards the urban challenge of car dependence in some of the case study cities. The communities now have a better and shared understanding of city building and of future-proofing the city against planning challenges. Also interesting is the report’s finding that community confidence increases as new stages of light rail are planned and delivered. There are several other valuable lessons in this report as well. Once again, I suggest that members who have not read the report may find it interesting.

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