Page 3626 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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MS PORTER: Minister, can you tell the Assembly more about the comprehensive surveys undertaken by the government to gauge community views on the capital metro project?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. Yes, the Capital Metro Agency does use an internationally certified market and social research firm to conduct a reliable and effective certified robust sample of community attitudes on light rail. We asked them, regularly over the past 18 months, on three separate occasions, to get an understanding of the community level of awareness of the project, their support or otherwise and their perception of benefits or any concerns.

Last week I was pleased to announce the summary of surveys on light rail conducted by the Capital Metro Agency’s research agency. That shows that support for light rail has remained steady over the past 16 months at between 54 and 56 per cent. Each of these surveys contains a scientific random sample of at least 1,190 people across the ACT. The survey is accurate to within a 2.8 per cent margin of error, which provides a 95 per cent confidence interval for the results.

The summary report shows that support for light rail has grown from 54 per cent in June 2014 to 56 per cent in August this year. It continues to show strong majority support for this important city-changing project. Importantly, Madam Speaker, it confirms an ongoing trend of majority support for the project. Many Canberrans have indicated in the survey that they recognise that congestion is a problem now for our city. They certainly identify congestion as a problem for the future. That is why the government has announced the broad range of transport reforms that the Chief Minister outlined today and yesterday. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, can you tell us more about the consultation undertaken with stakeholders on the use of the Magistrates Court car park as a temporary construction compound and also on alternative parking options?

MR CORBELL: Further, in terms of the Capital Metro Agency’s consultation processes, it is the case that we were able to achieve a very effective outcome through the consultation processes put in place by the Capital Metro Agency when it came to traders’ legitimate concerns about the loss of car parking to a construction compound on the Magistrates Court car park site, opposite the Melbourne Building in the city. As a result of that extensive consultation, the government saw 60 submissions from the community, and a large number of them related to the potential loss of car parking on that site.

Following consultation, the government has first of all determined that only 50 per cent of that car park site can be used for construction, and that is a significant reduction on what was previously proposed. We are now also in discussion with businesses and other stakeholders on options to maintain or indeed increase above the current level of about 255 spaces during the construction period. There are two options being investigated. The first is the development of a temporary car park

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