Page 3942 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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As Mr Rattenbury rightly stated yesterday, Mr Coe’s media release following the release of the Canberra Times survey results headed “Majority against light rail” said:

The poll shows 52 per cent of Canberrans do not support the ACT government’s plan for a light rail from Gungahlin to the city.

Mr Rattenbury was right to highlight that this is a clear example of where the Canberra Liberals use information selectively or distort it in a way that will obviously give readers an inaccurate impression.

The facts, for the benefit of members opposite, are that the Canberra Times readers were asked, “Do you think Canberra needs light rail?” In 2014: yes, 42.71 per cent; no, 53.74 per cent. In 2015 this changed dramatically: yes, 48.64 per cent; no, 46.9 per cent. That clearly shows that more people are in favour of light rail than not. Readers were then asked, “Do you support the first stage of light rail as currently proposed?” In 2014: yes, 36.4; no, 58.71. In 2015: 43.87 said yes, an increase from 2014; and no, 52.06, a decrease.

The key point here, as currently proposed, is the terminology. Again Mr Rattenbury rightly pointed out yesterday the question was clearly posed to gauge whether residents would have liked the light rail to go somewhere else in Canberra. But this figure is the only one used by the Canberra Liberals and is disingenuous. As they say, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

However I have good news for those Canberrans who were asked the question. Together with the Chief Minister and the minister for transport reform, Mr Rattenbury, I released our plan for the light rail network. In this place yesterday we had Mr No—I am sorry, Mr Coe—say that our light rail plan was lacking detail and all that we had released was a map. If Mr Coe had bothered to look carefully at the light rail network document I released for public comment on Monday—I might add that it has been very well received—he would have noticed that yes on page 11 there is a map but that is only one page of 35 pages. For the benefit of Mr Coe—he can actually familiarise himself with what has been released—I now table the light rail network plan. I present the following paper:

Light Rail Network—Delivering a modern transport system for a growing city.

He will see that what we have done in the light rail network plan is ask Canberrans where we should go next with light rail, which corridor would people like to see built next, and we have asked Canberrans to consider what benefits and opportunities might be realised through the delivery of an integrated light rail network to the city. We have outlined routes and options and opportunities for our city, matters the Canberra Liberals have no interest in considering because they have no interest in what our city can become, they have no vision and they offer Canberrans nothing but a blank stare and a blank look. Unfortunately I have come to realise that they will continue to selectively use information that only serves themselves.

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