Page 4027 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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vehicles a day, of which 2,800 are commercial or heavy freight vehicles, until the parkway began its staged opening. Once complete, the parkway will make accessing the Barton Highway from Majura Park easier and provide a direct connection between the Federal and Monaro Highways.

All of these routes form part of the national freight network. This will enable improved productivity for commercial movements and will enable national, regional and local markets to be accessed more easily. Improved freight productivity is very much in line with the national heavy vehicle reform agenda, particularly given that the freight task will double over the next 15 years. Efficiencies, use of newer performance-based vehicles and lower operating costs afforded by improved infrastructure are key to achieving this.

Infrastructure Australia assessed the Majura Parkway as a priority project because it offered benefits to national freight movements. Even though opened only in a staged manner at present, it is clear that the route will be very attractive to commercial and heavy vehicles.

The opening of the Majura Parkway was one of the factors that influenced IKEA to open up its store in Canberra. This sort of investment in the national freight network provides more incentive for investment and business confidence in the ACT, providing jobs and growth.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how will the final completion of the—

Mr Coe interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry, Ms Fitzharris. Mr Coe was interjecting and I could not hear what you were saying. Could you start again please?

MS FITZHARRIS: How will the final completion of the Majura Parkway benefit the territory?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her interest in roads across the territory. The Majura Parkway will provide benefits in a number of different ways. Nationally, it will contribute to improved productivity for freight traffic and contribute to the national economy in this way, which is vital given the role that road transport freight has nationally. At a regional level the Majura Parkway will link to the Monaro and Federal highways and provide improved access into the New South Wales region and access from the region to Canberra Airport and the transport freight related businesses that are operating from this hub.

Locally, the Majura Parkway adds additional road capacity to the arterial road network. This is necessary given the continued growth of population in Gungahlin, increased employment in the Majura valley and increased commercial activity around the Canberra Airport and the Majura business park. The recently opened IKEA store shows this rise in commercial activity and business confidence in the ACT.

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