Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2551 ..

The cost of Capital Metro is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and is a source of risk for the fiscal position of the ACT.

I think most people in Canberra would acknowledge that. Given the increased cost projections I described earlier, there is no doubt that the Centre for International Economics were correct in their evaluation of capital metro last year. This year the Centre for International Economics highlighted the fact that capital metro is a contentious policy, and they raised the question of whether spending the funds received from the asset recycling initiative was delivering the greatest return to the ACT economy.

Let us not forget that this government have a choice about how they spend that reward given to them by the commonwealth government. It was this government that chose light rail, not the commonwealth government. It was this government which nominated light rail as the infrastructure project which the funds would be rolled over into. There are any number of projects the asset recycling initiative funds could be rolled over into, but they chose light rail. For that, CIE have said they wonder whether this is going to return the best investment for the territory.

The CIE also picked up the fact that over $23 million had been cut from three programs—roads to recovery, the black spot project and the roads investment project—whilst over the same period $37 million has been allocated in asset recycling initiative funds to capital metro. There is, of course, much more that can be said on this subject. I will reserve the opportunity to say a few words following other people’s contributions to this debate.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.27): I thank Mr Coe for his, as usual, cogent, well-argued and thoughtful perspective on capital metro. I would like to take this opportunity to ensure that the Assembly hears from people whom the government has chosen to ignore so far during this debate on capital metro—that is, the people of Ginninderra. I am going to take this opportunity to speak on their behalf and enlighten the government with many of the comments that they have made to me. Just in case those opposite might claim some bias, I can say that I have received positive comments about light rail, but they are very few and far between and they are vastly outweighed by the disparaging cries of disdain and frustration from our constituents—yours and mine, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Here is a selection of comments from people who have indicated to my office their views on light rail. Overnight I did receive a comment on my Facebook page about light rail from a known wit, who is also a constituent, who, with apologies to Tennessee Williams, referred to the project as “The streetcar named disaster” and said this project would be “far from Stella”. Stuart from Cook said:

Everyone that I have heard from regarding the light rail proposal, including me think it is an absurd waste of funding.

Barry from Charnwood said:

They have got to be joking.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video