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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2387 ..

Light rail will also help get people out of their cars and onto public transport. It will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, congestion and travel times and be beneficial for the environment and also the health of our community. Incorporating exercise in our daily commute is proven to be highly effective in increasing physical activity which in turn can help us maintain better health. One of the many health benefits associated with light rail is that it will provide better connectivity and accessibility to the city, promoting active transport and decreasing the time people spend in their cars.

Light rail stops will be easily accessible and within walking distances of key populated areas, and those are predicted to increase in population in the future. Research indicates that people are prepared to walk up to one kilometre for light rail, a much higher distance than for buses. By walking to a light rail stop to get from home to work or school and back again, a person could complete up to an extra three kilometres of walking per day compared to driving. Capital metro is about creating a more sustainable Canberra, and we are about making sure that environment and sustainability are at the heart of that approach.

To ensure the best environmental outcomes are achieved as part of the project the successful bidder will be required to source at minimum 10 per cent of the light rail system’s electricity usage from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind. This combined with the ACT government’s target of 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020, at the time in which stage 1 light rail will be up and running, will enable the capital metro project to be 100 per cent green energy powered.

In addition to ensuring the system runs on 100 per cent renewable energy the successful bidder will also need to have measures in place to reduce the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from construction activity. This will include avoiding and reducing emissions through energy efficient construction practices such as sourcing carbon offsets by investing in programs such as the reafforestation or renewable energy initiatives. These two project requirements demonstrate the ACT government’s leadership in tackling the impacts of climate change through prioritisation of renewable energy, reducing the ACT’s carbon emissions, and a strong commitment to achieving carbon neutrality.

Light rail is part of the vision for a truly sustainable Canberra along with renewable energy and urban renewal. Capital metro stage 1 will deliver almost $1 billion worth of benefits for our community. As we progress through the planning phases of the capital metro project and as we continue to engage with the community to work through potential impacts as identified in the draft EIS, I would like you all to keep in mind the long-term vision for Canberra. By building a truly integrated transport network we will enable people to use a combination of bus, light rail, active travel options like cycling and walking, together with a continued investment in our road network and effective parking strategies. The government will deliver a network that will ensure Canberrans are well connected to their local community and their city.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.13): Speaking to the amendment and to conclude debate on the motion, I am not at all surprised by the arguments we have heard from those opposite. We simply get told time and time again to have this blind faith in this

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