Page 1673 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 9 May 2018

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with the Department of the Environment and Energy to confirm the appropriate pathway for assessing impact on matters of national environmental significance and achieving commonwealth environmental approval; continuing to work closely with the NCA to progress a design solution that aligns with commonwealth planning requirements; and the development of a concept design for the preferred alignment.

It is clear that Canberrans support light rail stage 2 to Woden, with the Canberra Times reporting on 9 April that half of all Canberrans support the expansion of the city’s light rail network from Civic to Woden. The UnionsACT poll of 2,044 people found that 51.5 per cent supported the second stage of the light rail project, 41 per cent were against it, and 7.5 per cent were undecided. I look forward to continuing to develop our plans for light rail to Woden.

MR STEEL: Minister, what are the benefits of the preferred route through Parkes and Barton?

MS FITZHARRIS: The preferred route was subject to quite significant consultation over a period of time. It provides a number of benefits over the other option. This includes providing the best access through the parliamentary zone to employment hubs, cultural institutions and other places of interest, including Manuka Oval.

The proposed route also allows people living in the city-to-Gungahlin corridor to access reliable, frequent public transport to work in Barton or Woden. There are also fewer technical challenges associated with the alignment than the alternative route around Parliament House or any alternative routes considered earlier in the corridor selection process.

Finally, and importantly, there was very strong support for that route during community consultation last year. Further technical assessment of the route has resulted in adjustment of the indicative bus stop locations on London Circuit to better serve the proposed West Basin precinct and New Acton, in addition to an extra stop in Barton to better serve the significant employment hubs in this area.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the supplementary, members on my left, this is question time. If you want to have a conversation during question time, can you take yourselves to the antechamber? I am finding it hard to listen to the question and to the answer. I call Ms Cody.

MS CODY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was about to ask the same thing. Minister, what are the challenges to delivering this stage of the city-wide light rail network?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Cody for this question. I thank very much our members for Murrumbidgee for these terrific questions. Of course, any large-scale infrastructure investment such as light rail presents some challenges. But the government is focused on planning for the future growth of our city, so we are tackling these challenges head-on.

Unlike those opposite, we know it is important to meet these challenges now for the benefit of future generations. Due to the location of the route, the heritage and

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