Page 2230 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2016

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MS BURCH: Minister, how important is it that the government maintain a consistent position in its dealing with industry, the light rail consortium and local businesses?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Burch for the supplementary question. It is extremely important that the government maintain a consistent position when it deals with the consortium and with local and national businesses.

Canberrans know where we stand on light rail. The Canberra Business Chamber has partnered with us to help advocate for local businesses in the construction of this significant public infrastructure project—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you are running close to the wind.

MS FITZHARRIS: We promised this project before the last election and we are delivering it now. The government has remained steadfast in its commitment to this transformational infrastructure project. Businesses can only prosper when they have a predictable and stable investment environment.

Compare, for example, this government’s clear position on light rail to that of the opposition. In 1999, then Liberal Chief Minister, Kate Carnell, was enthusiastic about light rail, even promising a test track. In 2005 the Canberra Liberals said that the case for light rail was strong. Then in 2008 they complained that it was taking too long to deliver light rail.

Now, in 2016, those opposite say they will tear up the light rail contract and try to rescope it. I assume that would involve tearing up their own glossy booklet published in 2008 entitled Getting light rail on track. In that booklet the Liberals stated that on light rail:

… the community are crying out for vision and for something to be done on this issue.

This government is pleased to deliver for the Canberra community. We have been consistent and we can be trusted to deliver a public transport network for Canberrans.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, do you have an actual or perceived conflict of interest regarding the location of light rail stops on stage 1?

MS FITZHARRIS: No, I do not have a conflict of interest on stage 1 of light rail. I, of course, live in Gungahlin. Many Gungahlin residents have recently bought property along the corridor principally because they know this government is delivering a light rail network along the stage 1 route. They have invested in businesses and in residential property. Many Canberrans are buying their first home on this route principally because it is on the route of a public transport project.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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