Page 3725 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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This government is on track to fail. On these figures they will not just fail by a per cent, they will fail miserably by about a third. This is the legacy of the ACT Labor-Greens government when it comes to public transport: lots of plans, lots of reviews, lots of spend, lots of media but no actual results. This is, of course, backed up by the fact that we have the Chief Minister here talking about urban sprawl as if it were an evil thing. Yet this is the government that is commissioning Denman, Jacka, Taylor, Throsby or Moncrieff, none of which is in walking distance of a tram stop—none of them.

What does Mr Rattenbury do? What does Mr Rattenbury do in cabinet when there are decisions such as Riverview being taken—6,500 homes to the west of Belconnen? I think there is a lot of merit in that development but what does Mr Rattenbury do? What does Mr Barr do when you have this sort of urban sprawl, when you have this sort of greenfield development? What do they do? They back it. They back it because they are addicted to the money of the LDA to build a tram system which they claim is going to stop the need for greenfield development. That is ridiculous. The scams they have are absolutely ridiculous, and they must know it.

Mr Rattenbury in particular must be quite conflicted about all the LDA’s greenfield sites to fund their bogus projects which do not deliver. And Mr Rattenbury’s own agency, TAMS, said that there will not be a decrease in congestion on Northbourne Avenue as a result of light rail. It is printed in the EIS. There will not be a decrease. I repeat:

This table indicates no significant difference in the AM and PM traffic for both base and 2021.

That is because people are not getting on the tram in 2021 because there are so few people living within walking distance. What does it do for someone in Casey or Ngunnawal or Amaroo or Bonner or Forde or Moncrieff or Nicholls or Palmerston or Crace? It does nothing. They will still be dependent on other modes of transport to get from their home to their destination. That is why this plan is folly. That is why it is fanciful.

There must be some amongst those opposite who are really questioning this, really questioning whether it is the best way to spend $1 billion on an ACT-wide network to replace the well-performing red and blue rapids with a slower tram service at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year to operate in addition to the $5 or $10 billion to construct. It is all very well for those opposite to talk about congestion in the abstract, to talk about the end of greenfield. The reality is that this government’s actions simply do not reflect their words.

The opposition will not be supporting this motion. I move:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“calls on the ACT Government to undertake a genuine assessment about the optimal mode and staging of improvements to public transport in Canberra.”.

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