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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 October 2015) . . Page.. 3734 ..

The Canberra Liberals in their release said nothing about the other survey, done to professional standards on a random selection of the population, which showed that 56 per cent of people support the project. This was an inconvenient truth that the Liberal Party would prefer to ignore. Secondly, Mr Coe’s headline of “Majority against light rail” is a deliberate distortion. The Canberra Times reported its own survey results with the words:

Support for the tram line was at 49 per cent … Opposition sat at 47 per cent.

So how did Mr Coe come up with his claim that the majority of people are against it? It turns out that he completely ignored the variety of positive statistics in the Canberra Times survey and picked the response to one question which asked, “Do you support the first stage of light rail as proposed?” Yes, 52 per cent of respondents said no to that. This was a question obviously intended to ask if residents would have liked the light rail to go somewhere else in Canberra. To then conflate this result into a claim that the majority of people oppose light rail is simply misleading, especially since the media release does not mention the other results of the survey, such as the fact that more people said they supported light rail than those who did not. I have no doubt that people reading this media release would not have received the full and accurate picture. But that is consistent with the approach that the Liberal Party have taken to this entire project. We could dedicate a regular segment in the Assembly in which we unpick the inaccurate or misleading comments that the Liberal Party have made about light rail—and it would be an easy segment to fill.

Another good one was Mr Hanson’s comment in response to the release of the light rail network plan. He said, in summary, “I do not understand why they have made this plan when they have already chosen the light rail route and it is right through Rattenbury’s electorate.” That is a perfect example of the Liberal Party’s inability to even comprehend the idea of planning for the future. The light rail network is about future light rail routes for the future of Canberra—one that still exists after the 2016 election. So I challenge our Liberal friends to do something positive today. Maybe they can take off their election blinkers and acknowledge for the first time that Canberra will continue to exist beyond the next election and it will need transport planning beyond the next election.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (12.14): I am very happy to rise today to speak to this motion by Dr Bourke talking about public transport and the need for an integrated, reliable, efficient, affordable public transport network to meet the needs of Canberrans now and into the future.

Madam Speaker, the value of public transport in our community goes further than just moving people from A to B. As Mr Rattenbury just said in his speech, it is not just about people moving. It goes further than the important economic and environmental benefits of reduced congestion, lower emissions and more time spent at home with the family, which all of us can appreciate in the way that our busy lives have become.

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