Page 3727 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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The benefits of an integrated public transport system for our community are substantial because it supports social inclusion, drives economic development, maintains livability and reduces congestion. Having transport Canberra as the umbrella organisation will ensure ACTION and capital metro are working as one to deliver the best outcomes across a connected network.

I also join with Dr Bourke and the Chief Minister in welcoming the consultation draft of the light rail network plan to identify potential light rail corridors, released on Monday by planning minister Mick Gentleman. This consultation plan has already kick-started the conversation about where light rail should be extended to following the rollout of stage 1. I encourage people to take up this opportunity to have a say on the future proposed corridors of light rail, and have a say on the long-term strategy and vision for Canberra’s light rail network.

This is an opportunity for people and interest groups to make the case for the next stage of light rail. The government should be commended and supported on this long-term approach to planning our future public transport network, and I would hope that those opposite would agree that seeking the community’s views and planning for our city’s public transport future are good things. Too often we lament the difficulties of forward planning in our short-term political cycle, so leadership now on this issue should be welcome. Public consultation for the light rail network plan is open until 11 December 2015.

It is also clear to me every time I visit local businesses and speak to residents in Gungahlin and around the stage 1 route that people are making investments today and buying property, both residential and commercial, in anticipation of light rail being built nearby. It is driving investment and has provided a positive reason to buy property, particularly around Harrison, Franklin and the Gungahlin town centre. A recent article on said:

Capital Metro’s first proposed route will take its passengers from the CBD to Gungahlin. The route will make the daily commute a breeze for residents of the northern suburbs, and for Gungahlin property owners it’s also good news.

Independent Property Group Gungahlin agent Andrew Potts is quoted as saying:

One of the main things that we’re seeing in Franklin and Harrison is the importance of access to the city and having that direct route.

He said that light rail is on the mind of just about—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ms Fitzharris, sit down. Stop the clock please. If you want to make a comment, Mr Smyth, you will have an opportunity when Ms Fitzharris has finished. You can get up and make your point. Meanwhile will you please remain silent.

MS FITZHARRIS: As I was saying, Independent Property Group Gungahlin agent Andrew Potts is quoted as saying:

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