Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2555 ..
financed, talked about how it could be built, talked about how value capture could be achieved and talked about how light rail drives greater public transport use than bus-only systems.
I wonder if Mrs Dunne brings this matter to the attention of her constituents when she stands up in this place and rails against this project, rails against the project that she is on the record, not in some off-the-cuff comment but in a very deliberate, considered and thoughtful academic paper, as extolling the benefits of light rail. She makes it clear that this project is an opportunity for our city to see, as she quotes, “the virtues of a post-materialist way of life”, because of the increased price of oil, because it is an opportunity for value capture, because it is an opportunity to drive a higher level of public transport use. Those are her words on the public record.
It is hard for anyone with experience of government to avoid becoming a pessimist about the prospects of governments abandoning short-sighted populism for foresight and vision.
I remain a pessimist, by nature and conviction. But at least that leaves open the happy possibility of being proved wrong.
Who is adopting the short-sighted populism now? Who is adopting the position that they will remain a pessimist forever and have no foresight or vision? They are not my words but the words of Mrs Dunne.
Perhaps next time Mrs Dunne wants to stand up in this chamber and lecture this side of the chamber on why this is such an appalling project she could come out and explain why only a few short years ago she was criticising governments for having a lack of foresight and vision and she was criticising governments for not adopting what she characterised as practical and meaningful ways to drive better public transport use, improved land use value capture, improved sustainability outcomes for our city and why she asserted that a small city like Canberra could achieve good outcomes for public transport by building a light rail network and why she, as a member of this place, even advocated the use of public-private partnerships as a way of financing the delivery of that infrastructure.
The extraordinary contrast between her position that she has adopted today in this place and her previously stated views on light rail are there for all to see. I wonder when she receives representations from her constituents whether she even draws to their attention her previous advocacy for light rail, her considered and detailed analysis of the opportunities it presents and why it is so important for the future sustainability outcomes of our city.
Unlike those opposite who have adopted, in Mrs Dunne’s words, the short-term and populist view, we are adopting a long-term view that it has a vision for the growth and development of this city, a sustainable growth pattern for our city, better public transport for our city, and that is why we are pursuing this important project that will set the path towards a more sustainable, more productive, more engaged and a better-connected Canberra. That is what this budget delivers when it comes to light rail.