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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2784 ..

By 2031—just 14 years from now—Infrastructure Australia has estimated that congestion will cost the economy $700 million annually. The development of light rail stage 2 builds a true north-south public transport spine for our city. The city to Woden extension better supports a connected city. Residents of Woden and south Canberra specifically will reap benefits from a quick and simple journey to and from work. Light rail stage 2 will also support sustainable urban development in the Woden town centre. As we are already seeing in the stage 1 corridor, light rail drives land use changes which lead to additional benefits for residents.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, given these benefits, how important are political certainty and bipartisan support for this long-term project?

MR BARR: Investment certainty is essential for large-scale infrastructure projects. We compete in national and international markets for the skills and resources to deliver these large-scale projects. Uncertainty of support for major projects can certainly significantly impact on our city’s reputation as a place to invest and this was clearly demonstrated by the response of the infrastructure community, the business community and indeed political colleagues from around the country and in the federal government in relation to the commitment taken to the last territory election by those opposite to rip up contracts that had been legally entered into.

Those opposite do have form. They were very willing to throw away their principles in exchange for what they believed at the time would be a short-term political benefit, a decision that now seems quite absurdly misguided. Even their federal colleagues described this stance as “economic lunacy”.

Mr Hanson: What happened to the bloke who said that?

MR BARR: He is about as successful as you, actually, which would be how I would describe his career. He might have moved up from being part of the chaotic federal Liberal government at this point in time. You, I guess, get to rest in peace on the middle benches in this place. But I digress.

The importance of honouring contracts cannot be understated, and in this instance political certainty created by the territory election result and the fact that government now has a very clear mandate for the further delivery of this project should be heeded by all in the political debate in this city. (Time expired.)

Animals—dog attack compensation

MR DOSZPOT: Madam Acting Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. On 2 August 2017, in this Assembly, you gave a speech in which you confirmed your decision to deny the payment of an ex gratia payment to the young boy seriously injured when attacked by dogs in an ACT public housing property. With your back turned on the young boy, who was in the chamber, you said that you based your denial of the payment on the existence of a “framework under which … Act of Grace payments are assessed”. You said that you had “tabled the framework”. The

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