Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2904 ..
reply: To close the debate, I thank members for their comments, but, of course, there are no surprises from those opposite when it comes to this proposal—no surprises in their blind opposition to any proposal that is going to grow and develop our university sector or any proposal that is going to grow and develop our city, create jobs and improve transport infrastructure for a city that is going to be over 600,000 people in the next couple of decades. There is no vision from them at all—just blind opposition.
Of course, we still have not had an explanation from those opposite as to why they wanted to move these motions and then apparently, at some stage this afternoon, withdrew them. We still have not had an explanation about that one. We have not heard Mr Coe’s explanation on that one. All we can assume is that he wanted to chicken out on the debate, and the only reason he could not chicken out on the debate is that we have brought this debate on, as we said we would. We invited Mr Coe to do it first.
We have heard from those opposite about what they assert is a highly questionable process. The fact is that there is clear precedent for this type of approach to be adopted where there is a need to provide certainty and where there are exceptional circumstances.
And there are exceptional circumstances. We are talking about two of the largest investment opportunities which are occurring in this city at a time when colleagues opposite in the federal parliament have cut the guts out of our city, destroyed commercial confidence, cut tens of thousands of jobs, stalled the housing market and seen the ACT go through a period of economic stagnation that we have not seen for over a decade. Those are the exceptional circumstances.
We need to get on and see these projects delivered. We know there is opposition to these things. This opposition has no clue, no vision for the future of our city. They are blocking changes, legitimate planning changes, that will help facilitate these outcomes for our city.
That is why we are moving this motion today. That is why the government will vote against this motion. We want it negatived because we want certainty, because we want to know that these territory plan variations will stand and because we want to know that the University of Canberra, the council of the University of Canberra, the vice-chancellor and the management of the University of Canberra, can execute their plans to grow this critically important tertiary education institution and that we can proceed with confidence in planning for the development assessment phase of the capital metro project so that we can implement one of the most significant infrastructure investments this city has ever seen, one that will change the shape and future growth of our city for decades to come, for the better, and at the same time create thousands of jobs during its construction stage. That is why we are moving this motion today. That is what the exceptional circumstances are.
I do not know whether those opposite have noticed, but the University of Canberra has a grant of land for university purposes. That is what it has. We heard this silly