Labor's Andrew Leigh tells Zed Seselja to 'get on board' with ACT light rail
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Labor's Andrew Leigh tells Zed Seselja to 'get on board' with ACT light rail

Labor MP Andrew Leigh has urged ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja to "get on board" with Canberra's light rail, after the senator said he would try get stage two of the project referred to a parliamentary inquiry.

Light rail stage two will need to be approved by both houses of federal parliament as the route crosses Commonwealth land on its way from Civic to Woden.

Labor MP Andrew Leigh says ACT Senator Zed Seselja should 'get on board' with light rail.

Labor MP Andrew Leigh says ACT Senator Zed Seselja should 'get on board' with light rail.

Photo: Rohan Thomson

In federal parliament on Tuesday, Canberra politician Mr Leigh accused Senator Seselja of "trying his best to hold up investment in public transport and light rail in Canberra".

Mr Leigh said Senator Seselja's attempts to refer the proposal to a committee for extra scrutiny was "an attempt to slow this project and bring its progress to a stop".

"We know a majority of Canberrans don't agree with him. In fact, the people of this city went to an election on this issue. Actually, they went to two elections on this issue," Mr Leigh said.

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"It's been decided and if anybody should know, it's Zed Sesejla, who lost the last two ACT elections in which he led the party.

"But just like when he abstained from the vote on marriage equality in the other place, Senator Seselja is ignoring the clear and unambiguous wishes of voters.

"There is no need for further delays to this project. Canberrans have waited for two terms of Liberal Governments in vain for investment in their transportation networks and now the Canberra Liberals are attempting to delay light rail even further."

Senator Seselja said on Monday the ACT government did not get the consultation on light rail right the first time around.

"The ACT government is not the font of all wisdom and this is an opportunity to give the community an additional chance to have their say, so that's a good thing," he said.

But the ACT government was confident the proposal would pass federal parliament, given the Commonwealth's support for light rail stage one and the benefit to the parliamentary triangle.

Katie Burgess

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.

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