Page 3872 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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Transport—light rail

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, do you have an estimated cost for the network identified in the master plan? If yes, what is the estimated construction and operational cost of the light rail network proposed in the master plan?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones for her interest in the light rail network and the master plan we announced just the other day. It is a fantastic opportunity to show Canberrans how public transport can spread across the territory. In regard to the specific question on cost, as I said the other day in answer to a question, master planning is done as a strategic planning instrument right across the territory. Master planning is done to outline axes of planning and opportunities for the future, and the master planning process does not take cost into account.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, when will the government outline the projected costs of construction and operation?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I answered the other day, projected costs are detailed for each light rail corridor in the business plans and business cases provided by the proponents at the time. So those will be developed for each light rail corridor, as we have done for stage 1.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, will the benefit-cost ratio for each leg determine the future staging of light rail?

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, as we have done for stage 1.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary.

MR COE: Minister, do you have any indication as to how much it will cost to finance the network provided in the master plan?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said at the beginning of my answer to Mrs Jones’s question, the light rail master plan and master plans across the territory are not about providing costs for future projections. They are about providing the overarching planning instrument for the territory. That is what we have done. We have announced a light rail master plan for right across the ACT, which includes the first leg, travelling across to the parliamentary triangle—servicing some 60,000 public servants commuting into that area—and then further down to Woden and Tuggeranong later on. The light rail master plan that we announced the other day services the whole of the ACT.

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