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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 July 2019) . . Page.. 2546 ..


question on notice. The response we received from the minister, dated 28 June 2019, did not fill me with confidence. I was told that the scope of the review and consultation was yet to be finalised. That brings me to today moving a third motion on this issue that urges the government to conduct a more comprehensive and focused review.

Sadly, with this government nothing seems to move fast, though. It has been one of my biggest frustrations in coming from the private sector that things take so long in this place. Also, I have found that nothing with this government is what it seems. Whilst at different points I was hopeful of an outcome for local businesses, I have learned quickly that reports or reviews can be used like smoke and mirrors. More often than not they say things we already know and do not actually provide tangible outcomes.

That is why I am back today to ask the government to be transparent about the next review. This issue is just too important to play politics and it is too urgent to ignore. Many of you in this place might know just how desperate the situation is for local businesses along the light rail corridor. With many already forced to close their doors, the stress and strain are very real.

Gungahlin business people were shocked that the government had spent $447,000, not the $100,000 originally promised, on the light rail launch party. This anger has been inflamed with the announcement of $1 million to go towards changes to the public play area in Gungahlin Place. This is like a kick in the guts when local businesses were refused compensation. And even here, with this updated park, we see that the town centre is facing more construction. With the poor planning by this government, I just do not know when the chaos will end.

Getting back to the motion, a point I want to make clear is that the original review did not provide tangible outcomes to local businesses. When we followed up with the government in February, our calls for action seemed to fall on deaf ears. To ensure that this does not happen again, we want to see the scope, terms of reference and methodology before the next review starts. My intention here is to get the best outcomes for local businesses.

I also want stakeholders to know what is being planned so that they can get involved. That is why we have asked that these be tabled in September, well before the date light rail will have been running for six months. Finally, this motion asks that once the report is done, it is tabled in the Assembly and made publicly available. These do not seem like unreasonable requests given the commitment made by this government back in February.

I predict that the new transport minister is likely to cite the recent light rail project delivery report that was released on 21 June 2019 as providing some of the review that was promised. However, here we see the tricks of the trade, with reports from this government being used to cover up inaction. We have a 58-page document that does not really say too much. This report has been compiled without any consultation with local business. It also focuses on project delivery, not operational outcomes or impacts. How can economic benefit in this report actually be measured when the


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