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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2783 ..

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: I think Mr Barr said there was a formal process to go through.

MS LE COUTEUR: Assuming that there is a formal process, is that formal process going to include consulting the community whether to approve or reject this?

MR BARR: Yes, there are elements of community consultation as part of the process.

MS LEE: Chief Minister, when was this project first discussed within cabinet?

MR BARR: It has not been discussed within cabinet. There is no formal submission before cabinet. Cabinet does not make decisions on behalf of ActewAGL.

Transport—light rail stage 2

MS CODY: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what will the government’s commitment to the delivery of light rail stage 2 mean for the Canberra economy?

MR BARR: Light rail stage 2, from the city to Woden, is indeed a city-defining project. It builds on the first stage of light rail from Gungahlin to the city. The project reflects the ACT government’s vision to create an efficient transport spine north-south for our city. It connects our city’s major population and employment precincts. It integrates with other transport options, and it certainly is already demonstrating significant stimulation of urban renewal projects along the transport corridor. That will continue into the relevant town centres.

Right now, light rail construction is supporting thousands of jobs directly on the project, and all of the complementary investment that is occurring along the corridor is supporting thousands of additional jobs. Deloitte Access Economics, in its Investment Monitor, has specifically reported light rail as a major driver of economic growth in Canberra, and has now added stage 2 to its list of future projects, further boosting long-term economic confidence.

Businesses around the construction of light rail stage 1 are booming, and this will continue southwards from the city as light rail stage 2 gets underway.

MS CODY: What benefits will light rail stage 2 have for Woden, Chief Minister?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cody for the supplementary and her ongoing interest in the Woden town centre. Light rail stage 2 will build on the economic, social and environmental benefits that are now being realised by the delivery of stage 1. Our city’s high level of car dependency leads to traffic congestion and frustration and has a productivity impact for our town centres. That will certainly increasingly be the case as Canberra grows if we do not act now to invest in proper public transport.

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