Page 2558 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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our members. We’re getting kickback from our members. We don’t want to see their membership dues going to support a project that they don’t support.”

Ultimately people across Canberra see that there is an opportunity cost to light rail. This is not all for free. This is not pretend money. This is going to cost Canberrans one way or another. It is going to cost them close to $1 billion. We do not know exactly how it is going to be financed, how much is going to be up-front, how much is behind and so on. But ultimately the net cost to the taxpayer is likely to be in the order of $100 million a year either in lost revenue or in borrowings or paying the PPP the operating costs of light rail. It is going to be of that magnitude.

What is the opportunity cost? And this is the point. That could be perhaps $20 million in health every year. Think about our struggling EDs. It could be $20 million in education on top of that for some of our overcrowded schools that we have across the ACT. And on top of that maybe it could be $20 million into buses to fix some of the frequency issues that we have in public transport across all of our suburbs. And perhaps on top of that we could be putting $20 million into fixing up some of our local shops, our local shopping centres, that we go to and see are falling apart, dilapidated. That is where the people want the money to go.

On top of that maybe we could have less pressure on people’s rates—$20 million that would not be put onto people’s rates. That is the order of magnitude that we are talking about every single year for the life of this project, 20 years, 30 years—how many years it is going to be? That is the opportunity cost for the people of Canberra.

That is what people are saying to us in Weston Creek, in Belconnen, in Gungahlin, in Tuggeranong, in the inner north and in the inner south. People are saying to us that the price is too high, the price of Simon Corbell’s and Shane Rattenbury’s vanity is too high. (Time expired.)

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (11.52): I stand today to support the funding in this year’s budget for capital metro and to reiterate my support for this project. This is a Labor commitment being delivered by a Labor government who knows what it means to plan and deliver for the future. It is, as Minister Corbell outlined and when quoting Mrs Dunne, a vision for the future. It is a vision for an integrated public transport network for our future starting with stage 1, the light rail route from Civic to Gungahlin. It is a transport solution. It is a job solution. It is an economic solution. It is proven to drive greater public transport use, jobs growth and economic growth, particularly along the stage 1 corridor. It is a Labor commitment to address the growing needs of our city, to bring new jobs to Canberra. It will bring choice to our public transport network, more options for more people.

I note that those opposite have quoted the views of constituents. I, too, would like to quote the views of constituents from Gungahlin who have spoken on light rail in a recent Gungahlin Community Council survey conducted late last year and early this year with the results released in February this year. What the people of Gungahlin said about the capital metro project was that 75 per cent indicated they support the project. But for me the more important figure that came out of that survey was not the level of support alone but the number of people who said that they would use the light rail system when it is built in 2019-20.

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