Page 501 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017

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illiterate as underpinning decades of future growth for our city, is the light rail. Labor’s announcement last year that this visionary project will be going to the south will not only provide years of work in construction but also provide significant stimulus and business activity along the route. With the added benefits to the environment, the amenity of our city and the reduction in congestion, future generations will be praising the project for decades to come.

But the process of delivery is as important as the delivery. That is why I was so happy to see the local industry partnership policy launched in January as part of ACT Labor’s commitment to improve local content in procurement. Ensuring that local businesses have a front row seat for access to government work not only keeps that money in our town but provides those businesses with the working capital to grow and bid on other private sector work. Ensuring that those businesses operate with the highest standards of occupational health and safety, fair employment practices and respect for the environment and community not only delivers on our principles but gives them the framework to be internationally competitive.

Despite the best efforts of the Liberals across the lake to wreck our city’s economy, this Labor government has been standing up for local jobs, standing up for local business and delivering a strong economy for all Canberrans. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (4.07): I rise to support the motion moved by my fellow Labor colleague Bec Cody. Making Canberra an even greater place to live and to do business is a significant priority of this government. The ACT election demonstrated that Canberrans want a government with a clear, positive, forward-thinking plan for this city. Canberra already is, and is continuing to grow as, an international city increasingly connected to the rest of the world, and we realise the need to embrace Canberra’s future. We need to embrace the reality that Canberra is changing, our city is becoming bigger, and this government is providing economic certainty and is making the investments and reform needed for our future economy.

There is no greater testament to the forward-thinking vision of the ACT Labor government than the capital metro project. With construction already underway on stage 1 to Gungahlin we will soon see this project make its way to my part of town, creating a vital public transport spine from Gungahlin through to Woden. With light rail comes important economic benefits for our city. In the short term this means up to 3,500 new jobs for Canberrans just for stage 1. In the long term our economy and businesses will see billions of dollars of benefits from urban renewal that will occur next to the light rail corridor. It will help rejuvenate the Woden town centre, spurring urban renewal in our suburbs and town centres. This is already providing property development and commercial opportunities, opportunities that simply would not have existed if the Liberals had won the 2016 election.

Our city will also benefit from the indirect economic benefits of reducing traffic congestion in our growing city, which was on track to cost our economy hundreds of millions of dollars a year if action was not taken. This government’s investment in vital infrastructure for our growing city is spurring business confidence. A strong infrastructure pipeline and a stable investment environment provide room for optimism in the business community.

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